Rep. Ackerman Legislation Would Require Municipalities to Allow Tiny Homes as Affordable Housing

 

STATE HOUSE — House Deputy Majority Whip Mia A. Ackerman (D-Dist. 45, Cumberland, Lincoln) has introduced legislation to encourage the building of tiny homes.

The legislation (2021-H 5632) would require towns and cities to allow tiny homes to be used as accessory dwelling units and to be counted as affordable housing.

“Affordable housing is one of the most critical challenges facing the state today,” said Representative Ackerman. “Tiny homes offer affordable, ecologically friendly housing that can strengthen communities by keeping families together. They are a way to provide on-property housing for aging relatives or children returning from college.”

A tiny home is generally described as a small dwelling on a permanent foundation with a maximum area of 400 square feet. The bill would allow such dwellings even though they may have a smaller square footage than is normally permitted by local zoning requirements. 

Under the legislation, a tiny house used for habitation would be connected to either a public water system or a private well and to a public sewer system or an on-site wastewater treatment system that has been approved by the Department of Environmental Management. It would also be required to meet the other requirements of the state building code.

The legislation, which is part of a package of bills addressing the state’s housing crisis, has been referred to the House Committee on Municipal Government and Housing. 

 

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