Bird's eye view of a thriving tiny house ecovillage community

Thriving in a Tiny House Community: Sustainable Living in 2023

The tiny house movement shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, interest in downsizing to affordable, eco-friendly tiny homes is growing. Many people are now looking to join or start intentional communities centered around sustainable tiny house living.

But what does it take to create a thriving tiny house village? How can you find true belonging and connection in a tiny home community? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the many benefits of communal tiny life and best practices for integrating sustainability.

Tiny House Communities Offer a Unique Living Solution

Tiny house communities provide a one-of-a-kind living experience that combines small private spaces with shared public amenities and resources.

While residents own or rent their individual tiny abodes, the community builds common facilities like a community center, gardens, laundry and kitchens. Some even share power, water and waste systems cooperatively through decentralized renewable energy sources, shared wells, and community composting.

This blend of independence with group sharing and cooperation fosters meaningful connection and relationships between residents. For many seeking sustainable and affordable housing alternatives, tiny home villages provide an ideal way to live lightly together with a smaller environmental footprint.

“I love being part of a community focused on sustainability – it makes eco-friendly living easy and fun!” – Michelle, tiny house resident

“Tiny community life has been amazing. I’ve made deep friendships with neighbors I can rely on.” – James, tiny house resident

Benefits of Living in a Tiny House Community

Opting into group tiny living provides many valuable advantages:

Affordability – Sharing land ownership, amenities and resources significantly reduces housing and living overhead costs compared to traditional arrangements. Savings are made on property taxes, utility bills and maintenance.

Sustainability – Communal living enables sharing of eco-friendly practices and off-grid systems like solar energy, composting and gardens. This leads to a smaller environmental impact per resident.

Belonging – When cooperating, sharing and supporting one another, deeper relationships and connections form between residents. This fosters a strong sense of community.

Security – The close-knit group acts as an important safety net and support system if any member faces emergencies, hardships or crises.

Knowledge Sharing – Exchanging skills around DIY building, gardening, food preservation, renewable energy, etc. makes self-sufficient living easier to achieve.

Governance – Participatory democratic processes give residents control and empowerment in making community policies and decisions collectively.

If you value being part of a close-knit cooperative community focused on sustainability, simplicity and sharing, tiny home villages can fulfill this aspiration and provide enriched, low-impact living.

How to Start a Tiny House Community in 2023

While existing established tiny communities are still somewhat limited in number, more groups of people are banding together and taking a DIY approach to manifest their visions of sustainable living. Starting your own eco-village from scratch is supremely rewarding but also requires substantial dedication, organization and effort. Here are some helpful tips and steps if you’re considering founding your own tiny house community:

  1. Assemble a Core Group – Bring together a handful of passionate, aligned individuals and couples to form the core founding group for your village. Ensure all are fully on board with the vision and level of commitment required.
  2. Research Local Zoning – Thoroughly investigate land use laws, building codes and zoning restrictions in your municipality or county. Focus your property search on rural towns and areas receptive to tiny and small homes if possible.
  3. Define Your Vision – Host workshops and retreats for your core team to collectively craft a clear shared vision and mission statement for your future community. Articulate your goals, ethics, values and desired culture.
  4. Plan Layout and Facilities – Start drafting conceptual plans for your village site layout, shared amenities, and infrastructure. Consider needs for a community center, kitchen, garden, composting areas, parking, renewables like solar arrays, etc.
  5. Create Legal Structure – Form the necessary cooperative, nonprofit or other legal entities to establish official standing for your forming community. Seek guidance from experts like real estate lawyers and accountants.
  6. Purchase Land – Pool resources to purchase suitable property with appropriate zoningallowances and acreage to accommodate current and future growth. Seek discounted rural land or foreclosure deals if possible.
  7. Finance and Fundraise – Explore financing options like collective mortgages, loans, crowdfunding campaigns, sweat equity programs, membership fees etc. to fund initial development.
  8. Build Shared Infrastructure – Construct the essential common facilities and systems first, like roads, solar arrays, water access, community building, garden beds etc.
  9. Add Tiny Houses – Once the foundational infrastructure is in place, incrementally build or move in individual tiny houses. Staggered growth will help build community progressively.
  10. Promote and Engage – Through social media, signs, events and press coverage, spread awareness locally about your emerging village. Host open houses and tours for visitors to learn more and potentially join.

While challenging, the rewards of establishing a tiny house community by and for the people who will live in it can make the effort incredibly worthwhile.

For guidance on constructing an eco-friendly tiny home, see our step-by-step building guide.

Fostering Community and Connection

Tiny house community potluck

While shared spaces and infrastructure provide the foundation, actively building social connections and a sense of community amongst residents is crucial for a tiny house village to truly thrive. Here are some tips for fostering strong bonds and relationships:

  • Host regular inclusive events like potlucks, movie nights, game days and celebrations to connect members.
  • Create communication channels like email lists, forums, social media groups and bulletin boards to share news and requests.
  • Make administrative and policy decisions democratically to give everyone a voice and equity in shaping their living environment.
  • Form clubs, activity groups and special interest committees around gardening, cooking, yoga, book reading etc. that align with residents’ passions.
  • Organize community work days for maintenance, beautification projects and seasonal preparations like fire fuel reduction.
  • Share skills and knowledge freely – offer classes on DIY projects, food preservation, natural building, homeschooling, renewable energy, holistic health or any expertise.
  • Check in on neighbors who are sick, grieving, struggling with childcare or needing an extra hand, meal or ride. Offer support without judgement.
  • Plan both structured activities and open time for unstructured socializing and connection. Have gathering spaces conducive to conversation.
  • mediate disagreements and disputes through compassionate communication, compromise and consensus when possible. Seek to understand all perspectives.

When members invest time and care into community building and collective governance, sustainable village life becomes fulfilling and harmonious.

Adopting Eco-Friendly Community Practices

A major benefit of cooperative tiny house living is the ability to reduce your environmental impact through sharing sustainable practices. Ways an eco-minded village can tread lightly include:

  • Establishing permaculture community gardens, food forests and farms for local organic food production using regenerative techniques
  • Pooling resources to construct shared renewable energy systems like solar and wind power as well as rainwater harvesting infrastructure.
  • Instituting a robust recycling and composting program to divert over 75% of waste from landfills. Compost enriches on-site soils.
  • Using shared appliances, tools, equipment and vehicles communally rather than each household owning duplicates. things like lawnmowers, ladders, trailers etc.
  • Organizing a carshare program with EVs, coordinating carpools, vanpooling to town, and providing bike share infrastructure to reduce reliance on private vehicles.
  • Hosting regular fix-it clinics, clothing swaps, and mending meetups to prolong the lifespan of belongings and reduce waste.
  • Putting on hands-on workshops teaching sustainable skills like energy conservation, natural building, solar cooking, fermentation, mycology, beekeeping, gardening etc.
  • Favoring green products and recycled building materials for common and private structures to reduce environmental footprint.
  • Limiting noise, light, water and land pollution that could disrupt local ecosystems through thoughtful policies.

Banding together in numbers amplifies the positive impact on the planet that conscientious tiny house dwelling provides.

For tips on mastering sustainable living practices as an individual or household, see our sustainable living guide.

Finding Community in Existing Tiny House Villages

For those drawn to the idea of tiny community living but looking to join an established village rather than founding a new one themselves, the options are expanding across the US and globally. Here are some things to research and inquire about when evaluating potential communities:

  • Visit in person if possible to get firsthand experience of the culture and vibe and meet some residents.
  • Have a clear picture of the community’s demographics like age ranges, family makeup, occupations etc. to assess fit.
  • Make sure decision-making processes, governance structure, policies and expectations around duties and contributions are clearly defined.
  • Look for alignment between your personal values, priorities and temperament and the broader community’s.
  • Ask current residents about the pros and cons of living there and any issues that arise. Get a balanced perspective.
  • Inquire about privacy considerations – how much insulation exists between dwellings and shared walls? Is it generally quiet?
  • How long is the trial period or vetting process for new residents? What is required for permanent membership?
  • Tour the facilities – common house, gardens, laundry, kitchen, composting areas, recreation spaces and infrastructure.

Some established tiny and small house communities worth exploring include:

Join Facebook groups like Tiny House Community and Tiny House Village to connect with residents and discover more communities. Becoming part of an established ecovillage can be easier than starting from scratch.

For guidance on sustainable living practices, see our sustainable living guide.

Embracing Tiny House Community Living

In summary, as the tiny house movement matures, growth of tiny house communities focused on sustainable sharing, cooperation and mutual support represents an exciting development. If you feel called to be part of an innovative solution to environmentally harmonious, affordable and socially rich living, getting involved with a tiny house village can be immensely rewarding.

For those seeking the close communal ties and ecological benefits of cohousing, yet value maintaining some privacy and independence, tiny communities offer the best of both worlds. By sharing resources and space with your neighbors intentionally, you open doors to more meaningful connections, novel experiences and a lighter environmental footprint.

Are you already thriving in a tiny house village? What lessons and tips can you share to enlighten others exploring small, sustainable community living? Please share your insights and experiences by commenting below to keep the conversation going on how to manifest more flourishing eco-villages!

Frequently Asked Tiny House Community Questions

If you’re considering joining or starting a tiny home community, you likely have many questions. Here are answers to some of the most common queries:

How many residents usually live in a tiny house community?

It varies widely, but 10-30 homes housing approximately 25-75 people total is typical. Some communities are smaller or larger though.

What are the common shared facilities and amenities?

Most have a community gathering space (“common house”), commercial kitchen, community garden, laundry facility, workshop, composting area, fire pit and parking.

What is the average cost to purchase or rent a tiny home in a community?

Buying a finished tiny home on a lot in an established community ranges from around $50k-150k. Renting starts around $300-800 per month depending on included amenities.

How much privacy and personal space do residents have?

Private tiny houses allow personal space for the nuclear family, though insulation between units can vary. More privacy than cohousing but less than a typical suburban neighborhood.

What is the application process like for prospective new residents?

The process varies but often involves an application, interview, background check, trial period living in the community, and buy-in fee. Culture fit and values alignment are heavily weighted.

How are community chores, duties and operating costs shared?

Residents contribute several volunteer hours a month assisting with maintenance, governance, projects, etc. Shared costs like land taxes and utilities are also divided evenly.

Let me know if you have any other tiny community questions! I’m happy to provide any additional details.