Could tiny homes help families who lost houses in the Creek Fire?

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Could tiny homes help those who lost houses in the Creek Fire?

The Creek Fire destroyed 853 structures last year, including hundreds of homes.

Rebuild Our Sierra is partnering with Operation Tiny Home to help some families make a quick return to their property.

Dylan Johnson, one of the co-founders of Rebuild Our Sierra, says it takes “three or four years to rebuild a full home and less than three months for a tiny house.”

Operation Tiny Home founder Gabrielle Rapport says, “A lot of times when people go tiny they are interested in that more minimalist lifestyle.  It’s not for everybody.”

Operation Tiny Home is known for projects like housing veterans in volunteer-built and self-built tiny homes.

Rapport says, “We do like to tailor it custom built to the needs of whoever it is we are building for. In these situations where we are building for people who lost their homes in the fires, we know that they want to have all the amenities and it might take them some time to rebuild their lives. They want a washer and dryer and they want access to a full size kitchen and a full size refrigerator. In these homes we can absolutely provide that for them.”

Tiny homes are popular because they are often affordable, customizable and eco friendly.

Rapport says, “It definitely does take a tremendous amount of creativity when you’re building a small space like that. You really want to be thoughtful and use multifunctional furniture. So everything in the home typically has more than one function. You have a table that folds up or moves over and becomes a cutting board. You really do have to get creative.”

Rebuild our Sierra already has four families set to receive tiny homes through the partnership with the first to be delivered this summer.

Sometimes local regulations dictate sizes of homes allowed and whether some may be permanent or temporary.  Rules often differ community to community.

Rapport says, “Our warehouse is in Oregon and we are building these homes to be able to transport them to the location and then they can be taken off that trailer. They’re not intended to be moveable tiny homes. We do build moveable tiny homes but we also like to work within local zoning laws and whatever is allowed for the community where we are building it.”

Johnson says, “We don’t have enough money to do it for them all. So that’s why we’re looking for folks who believe in this and help support us make it happen.”  For more information on Rebuild Our Sierra visit the website here.

Operation Tiny Home is also donating $20,000 in power tools to support 18 families rebuild. These will be distributed at an April 30 Creek Fire Resource Event in Prather.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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