State Rep Wants Legislature to Think Small & Embrace Tiny Houses

A state lawmaker from timber country wants to start a new housing boom in Washington . . . but a small one. Dan Frizzell has that story.

Tiny houses are hot.  They’re all over cable TV and the internet, including several million tiny house videos on YouTube alone.  But they’re not all over Washington, where state building codes make it difficult to build a home that measures in the hundreds of square feet rather than thousands.  This might change soon.  Aberdeen State Representative Brian Blake wants to give local governments the authority to reduce or eliminate current state minimum floor space requirements for single-family, detached houses, and says we might see a brand-new housing boom as a result.

“What I was trying to look for is flexibility for landowners and future homeowners that may not want a 3,000 square foot home or a 5,000 square foot home but wanted to downsize, and wanted a nice home, to have that flexibility to build what they wanted.”

Blake and his co-sponsor, fellow Democratic Representative Mike Chapman of Port Angeles, say they can see a market for tiny homes in small towns and urban centers alike.   The greatest appeal, they believe, will be for empty-nesters and retirees and for young adults who may have crossed home-ownership off their bucket list because of spiraling real estate prices. The tiny house bill is in the House Rules Committee and could be voted on by the full House as soon as next week.  In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.