North Las Vegas authorities have torn down a community that housed the homeless because the 50-square-foot structure did not meet the minimum home size required by law or comply with other strict housing regulations. The situation shows how government often thwarts private solutions to homelessness and poverty.
The tiny houses were built on private property owned by the nonprofit New page building community. New Leaf’s structures are small and basic, consisting of four walls, a window, and a front door lock. But despite their small size and lack of amenities, they can be life-changing for people previously living on the streets.
“Now I sleep on the damn sidewalk because of this!” A person who lives at the New Leaf home told KTNV Las Vegas.
This is from Elizabeth Nolan Brown, “Tiny Homes for Las Vegas Homeless Destroyed Due to Code Violations,” becauseAugust 23, 2022.
New Leaf houses were built by volunteers on private land. New Leaf leader Joseph Lankowski said the idea was to give homeless people “a place to call home.” “They had a little house where they could lock the door, so they could actually go out and get service without having to worry about your stuff being stolen or anything like that.”
Lonkowski raised funds to purchase the land after other options failed. In November 2020, the government demolished 28 small houses in New Leaf built on public land that had been homeless camps for years. New Leaf then tried to build tiny houses on trailers that could be parked in public parking spaces, but the police started towing them away. “And their whole argument was property, you know, ‘It’s our property. It’s not your property.’ And we said, ‘OK. We’ll buy our own property,'” he told KNTV.
Read the whole crazy thing.