Seattle's first female-only tiny house village taking shape

VIDEO: Newest tiny village

SEATTLE — Seattle's newest sanctioned encampment for people who are homeless is taking shape.

The tiny house village at Northwest 80th St. and 15th Ave. Northwest in Seattle's Whittier Heights neighborhood, which will serve about 20 women, is stirring up controversy.

A total of 17 homes will be built on a lot the city owns. Showers, bathrooms, a kitchen and laundry will be available to residents.

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The Low Income Housing Institute says the village will operate with a “harm reduction model” which means residents do not not need to be alcohol or drug free, and case managers will actively work with residents to help them get treatment for their addictions. It’s also known as “low barrier” housing. 

The city currently has six sanctioned tiny home villages for people who are unsheltered.

Advocates of the village say the homes are a temporary solution with the ultimate goal being transitioning residents into permanent housing. However, some neighbors worry the village will bring problems like needles to the area's alleys, and crime.

"So Whittier Heights, Crown Hill, we'd better get read for more needles on the street, prostitution, drugs, and the property crimes that comes with these encampments," David Moody, a neighbor, told KIRO 7's Deedee Sun.

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Other neighbors are more supportive of the project.

"These are our neighbors. First off, they're not going to go away, they've got nowhere to go. And second, they're going to be here whether they've got shelter or not. An having shelter is better," Elisabeth Jacobs, a neighbor, told KIRO 7's Deedee Sun.

Another tiny house village on Aurora Avenue opened last April. The houses at the Aurora Avenue location are basic, most are just open 8-foot by 12-foot spaces, but they're insulated and heated. There is a community kitchen, port-a-potties, and a place to shower. Click here to read more.