The Calhoun non-profit Tiny House Hand Up now has more than half a million dollars in assets thanks to the donation of 7.9 acres of land by Ginger King.
Executive Director Cindy Tucker, Board Chairman Haley Stephens and Kevin Casey, manager of the Tiny House Hand Up store, gathered at the corner of Harris Beamer Road and Beamer Road to check out the property recently.
Tucker said the land will be used specifically to build a tiny home community that will offer affordable housing for area residents. It will not be subsidized or need-based housing, she said, and stressed that potential homeowners will need to qualify for financing just like a traditional home purchase.
“This will be a planned, beautiful community,” she said, noting that each home will be a permanent and will be built according to one of several floorplans.
A tiny house built by the group will be between 350 and 800 square feet, but it will only cost about $100 per square foot to build.
Tucker said this area is great for bringing in industry and providing jobs, but often those jobs are on the lower end of the pay scale. Meanwhile, she said, there is a severe shortage of affordable housing.
The organization was founded three years ago, and since then they have been working to raise money and partnering with builders and suppliers and local governments to see their plan through.
They are currently working with local government officials, USDA Rural Development, Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs and other agencies and organizations on the plan for best developing the donated property.
Stephens said he recently received a pledge of the first $1,000 toward the first house in the community after showing a package with home designs to Ernie Smith of Battlefield Supply. He noted that Tiny House Hand Up does not look to compete with other housing agencies like Habitat for Humanity, but rather provide a more low cost home option that doesn’t exist locally.
“We fill a gap. It truly is a hand up,” he said.
The land donated by King recently could eventually provide space for as many as 40 tiny homes. In addition, the organization will offer classes for homeowners and potential homeowners related to finance, home upkeep and repair. Also, local contractors have offered to provide their services at reduced prices to homeowners in the Tiny House Hand Up community.
The organization is a non-profit and welcomes donations and/or shoppers at their store located at 150 Warrior Path, Suite 3. All funds raised go directly toward providing affordable housing in the community. They also accept donations of building materials or household items.
The group will be hosting a Turkey Jam event on Friday, Nov. 29, at the Elks Club that will include dinner and entertainment. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door and can be purchased at the store, Fitness First or Grandstandz.
For more information, call 770-634-3968.