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New zoning changes in Denver support a future for temporary tiny home villages

DENVER — Denver City Council voted tonight to approve amendments to the Denver Zoning Code, which will create a path forward for temporary tiny home villages seeking to use vacant land in Denver to help address homelessness.

Tiny home villages have been built around the country in recent years. They provide safety, privacy and a sense of personal space that has made them especially popular with vulnerable or marginalized residents looking to transition into permanent housing. Denver’s first temporary tiny home village, the Beloved Community Village, has been a successful pilot of this approach locally.

“We are focused on increasing housing options for all people. These tiny homes give you a key to your own door and the accountability and support of a community around you,” said Evelyn Baker, interim executive director of Community Planning & Development. “With the Beloved Community Village, we’ve already seen the difference having safe, stable housing can make in helping people find and keep jobs or go back to school. We’re a proud partner in this effort to make Denver’s vacant land available for such a great purpose.”

“This ordinance will help Denver house more homeless individuals who are currently living on the streets because they fall into the gap between shelter and permanent housing. I applaud the creativity it took to launch the first successful pilot, and today I’m proud to be working in partnership with Community Planning & Development and the community to advance a clear, uniform process to pave the way for more villages in the future,” said Denver City Councilmember-at-large Robin Kniech.

A “tiny home village” is a community of small, detached sleeping units situated around shared facilities for restrooms, kitchens and gathering areas. These temporary buildings are “relocatable,” meaning they can be easily moved from one site to another.

Denver’s zoning code will allow temporary tiny home villages for up to four years at each location and will require that operators meet with the surrounding community before applying for permits. In residential zone districts, these villages must be located on the grounds of a public, civic or institutional use, such as a school, church or community center. Download the Temporary Tiny Home Village permitting guide (PDF).

The zoning code amendments were sponsored by Councilwoman Kniech.