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Atlanta's 'Tiny House Guy' is Inspiring BIG Change Across Georgia

From Local to Statewide Advocacy, All While Looking Fabulous...

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Will Johnston is a fun-loving man about town in Atlanta. Known locally as the “Tiny House Guy”, Will relishes his life as a micro-living ambassador. His positive energy is simply contagious. So contagious in fact that it has spurred big policy change. Will founded Tiny House Atlanta, an organization dedicated to building walkable, sustainable “micro-hood” communities while educating individuals, groups, and cities about the positive impacts of micro living. Additionally, they are one of the largest tiny house Meetup Groups in the nation.

In 2017 Will and his partner, Kim Bucciero, collaborated with the city of Atlanta on a Tiny House Feasibility study. The result: an expanded accessory dwelling unit (ADU) zoning ordinance to encourage the development of more micro housing across the city.  During this same time, Will and Kim were instrumental in advocacy efforts for the statewide adoption of the International Residential Code (IRC) Appendix Q. Georgia became the second state in the nation to adopt this model building code for tiny houses. A huge victory for the newly formed Micro Life Institute, also founded by Will Johnston. It is broadening the local scope of Tiny House Atlanta to have an impact on the state, and perhaps even regional, level.

Embracing the tiny house movement in Atlanta will help expand the diversity of our housing choices and provide more affordable housing options. We have gotten really good at building large single family homes and luxury apartments, and as a result the cost have living has gone up dramatically over the last several years. Adding really high quality but small units is an important part of what we do to address our affordable housing issues.
— Atlanta City Councilmember, Kwanza Hall

 

All effective movements start local, and Will definitely is maximizing every opportunity to help create a more vibrant community through small space advocacy. Fresh off the Appendix victory, Tiny House Atlanta celebrated the approved rezoning of their property which means their Eco Cottages at East Point cottage community will move forward. Located in historic downtown East Point, in the metro Atlana area, the community will have over 40 eco-cottages on permanent foundations with vast green space, across 7.69 acre parcel.  Each house will range from approximately 500-1000 square feet, drastically smaller than the average American home. 

The Eco Cottages at East Point is a new type of community that is a culmination of sustainable structures, new urbanism and micro agrihood. We are redefining the idea of a neighborhood by encouraging relationships between neighbors physically and socially through the design of the neighborhood layout and the engagement through community activities. At the Eco Cottages at East Point, you instantly become part of a diverse community of like minded individuals, and you come home to a place where everybody knows your name
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How do you create more innovative communities and more micro housing options? A roaming advocacy tool, of course! In December, Tiny House Atlanta debuted the Tiny Office, a collaboration with  City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Resilience. Together they created an innovative mobile workspace that acts as an alternative to traditional office environments and is being used to promote sustainable and micro living. It boasts sustainable materials and off-grid technology, including a Tesla powerwall and a rain catchment system.

You can spot the Tiny Office moving around Atlanta as an advocacy and research tool for Tiny House Atlanta and the MicroLife Institute. Next month join them for another educational opportunity, the first-ever Atlanta Micro Home Tour. Beautiful small spaces, guided tours and an afterparty. Learn more here: http://tinyhouseatlanta.com/adu-tours

Our greater tiny house/micro living movement needs more Will Johnstons. Do your part and get involved!

-Alexis, co-founder of Tiny House Expedition