Site preparations are underway for the new Gardenview Tiny House Village in Bellingham, with the tiny houses due to be delivered in mid-August and the first residents expected to occupy them in October. Partner agencies contracted with the City to operate the village are seeking volunteers and donations to support its opening and on-going operations.
“We have made progress on expanding shelter options that are healthy, safe, and offer services to help people transition into permanent housing,” Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said. “Our work with LIHI and Road2Home will make important strides toward the housing goals we all share. We are excited to see activity on the Gardenview site and eager to welcome the tiny houses and their residents to their new village setting.”
Gardenview Village is a partnership between the City of Bellingham, Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) and Road2Home, located at 1399 Woburn Street, the former site of the City’s “Clean Green” facility.
This tiny house village for qualified people experiencing homelessness will have full-time 24/7 staff provided by LIHI and Road2Home, including a manager, operational staff, and case management staff dedicated to helping residents move as quickly as possible into permanent housing along with obtaining employment, health care, and more.
“We are grateful to Road2Home and the City of Bellingham in partnering with us to open Gardenview Village,” LIHI Executive Director Sharon Lee said. “With winter not that far away, we look forward to the opportunity to provide heated and insulated tiny houses, a safe place for people to live, and pathways to permanent housing for our unsheltered neighbors in Bellingham.”
Village residents may include individuals, couples, and people with pets. Each tiny house measures 8 x 12 feet, is insulated, furnished, and has heat, electricity, windows, and a locking door. In addition to 30 tiny houses, the village will include a community kitchen, hygiene facilities with restrooms, showers, and laundry, a case management office, a security pavilion at the entrance, and a fence around the site.
The property is owned by the City of Bellingham and managed by the Parks & Recreation Department. The City is contracting with LIHI and Road2Home to set up and provide staffing and services to the village. The village is funded by the City as an enhanced, non-congregate shelter that protects people experiencing homelessness from exposure to COVID-19, weather, and other harmful circumstances, and serves as a stepping stone from homelessness to housing.
“We’re so grateful for all the people who have worked hard to make this project happen, and for the support of our community and our volunteers, and especially for our clients who continue to inspire us to do this work,” said Melissa Bird, President of Road2Home.
How community members can help
- Summer 2021 work parties: LIHI and Road2Home will be hosting volunteer work parties starting in mid-August to paint and prepare the new tiny houses and the site for occupancy. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Community Advisory Committee: LIHI and Road2Home are seeking members for a Community Advisory Committee of neighborhood stakeholders to oversee progress of the village and residents. For more information or to apply, contact Josh Castle, LIHI Community Engagement Director, at email@example.com.
- Volunteer and donate: LIHI and Road2Home welcome community support through donations and volunteer service. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.road2home.org for details.
About our partners
LIHI operates or supports 14 tiny house villages in Tacoma, Olympia, Skyway and Seattle. Gardenview Village will be the first tiny house village developed and operated by LIHI in Bellingham. For more information about LIHI, visit the LIHI website.
Road2Home is a Bellingham nonprofit that runs the Community Ally Program, where volunteers trained in local resources and trauma-informed approaches assist people experiencing homelessness in their quest for housing. For more information about Road2Home, visit the Road2Home website.
Tara Sundin, Community and Economic Development Manager
City of Bellingham
Janice Keller, Communications Director
City of Bellingham
Josh Castle, Community Engagement Director
Low Income Housing Institute