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Couple Tries To Solve Big Housing Crisis With Lot Of Tiny Homes

PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — An El Dorado County couple is trying to tackle a serious housing crisis by offering affordable spaces in tiny homes.

"Our mission is that the people who work in the city will live here," said Fred Silva, who has been a contractor for 40 years.

The site they are looking at is just a short walk and a quick hike from the city.

"I can see all the little homes positioned through here and the roads coming up through the trees," he said.

Tucked away just three minutes from regional transit, Fred and Suzette Silva say they have a small answer to a housing crisis.

"A typical person cannot afford a lot in El Dorado County, nevertheless a lot and a home," Suzette said.

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With the purchase of the 21-acre property, the couple dreams of tiny homes on wheels rolling up, paying rent, and offering permanent housing for local residents.

"Now people who work here typically have to drive a ways to someplace that's affordable, well here you go," Fred said.

It may be hard to imagine because the area is so underdeveloped on a steep incline, but there could be up to 46 tiny homes on the property.

"I mean they're minimalist right, so they don't have a lot of stuff," Suzette said.

Instead of spending a few hundred thousand dollars on a home on the hill, you could purchase on average a tiny home for $35,000. The homes are anywhere from 16 to 32 feet long.

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Unfortunately, the city currently does not permit permanent habitation of recreational vehicles, which they say the couple's "Urban Ground" concept would fall under.

"They are not trailers, they are not RVs, they do not have an engine in them, they are manufactured homes," Suzette said. "Let's change the zoning. Every city and county has the ability to do that."

So far they've had dozens of inquiries and there's a definite demand. Now they just need a big "OK" from the city to fit their tiny needs.

It would be the first of its kind in California. States like Utah, Spokane Washington, and Hawaii have already allowed such tiny home villages.

The city would have to decide how it would tax the property owners since each site would be rented.

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