Hector Hinojosa’s parents built their first home as a family. Same with their last home. “It was a cooperative effort of family and friends. The old idea of, you get your neighbors together and you build a home,” he told the crowd gathered at the sculpture garden at Broadway and 9th Street Sunday.
That, he said, was the genesis for the idea of the Community Roots Collaborative: A new effort, announced that afternoon, to build 200 tiny homes in an effort to help the unhoused in Clark County escape chronic homelessness and find a place in the community.
Hinojosa organized the Stone Soup Community Meals program, which has provided all guests a meal at the sculpture garden every month for the past three years. The collaborative, in part, came from that, he said.
The collaborative hopes to build blended communities, he said, where half of the residents are moving into permanent housing, while the other half are people just looking to rent a small home, with expenses and mortgages set based on need.
“The idea is to make it sustainable,” said Hinojosa, who’s the collaborative’s president.
The collaborative would own the land, he said, and the residents the house. That model takes some of the cost and tax burden off the resident.
“The idea is to build equity, so you become the owner of that home,” he said. “So you hopefully take care of it, because it’s yours, and you get a little bit of dignity that goes with that. You’re a homeowner.”
Linda Garcia, the group’s executive director, said the collaborative will have first go at buying back the homes should someone want to move.
“They stay as long as they want, or they can use it kind of as a stepping stone, if that’s the sense that they get, or if that’s what they need,” she said.
Garcia said she knows of tiny home clusters housing at-risk women or veterans, but the collaborative’s plans are different in that it’s trying to build a blended community.
Beyond helping with economic viability, she said, having that mix of people can provide support for those dealing with housing insecurity, and who are trying to create some stability in their lives.