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Tiny House

Community for
Concept Paper


Tiny House Community for Veterans

Create a tiny house community for veterans in Northeast Florida within two
years with built-in vocational training and various support services.

This community will be built by veterans helping veterans with community

support. While designing, building and operating their own tiny houses,
veterans will learn key job and skills training in four energy independent sectors
with strong employment growth: green building design, green building
construction, solar design and installation, and energy measurement and

There is a high need for affordable
housing with supportive services and
job training for veterans in Northeast
Florida. A congregation of tiny houses
with a central building with laundry, a
commercial kitchen and communal
space along with edible gardens
Tiny House Community in Orlando
provides a community as well as
independent living. U.S. Green
Building Council Florida’s (USGBC FL) Green Veterans program focuses on
four pillars: reintegration, sustainability training, veterans-oriented service
projects, and trauma resolution through green building. Building a tiny house
community with transitional, permanent and disabled-ready housing fits all four
of these pillars.


Target Audience
The project's target audience are veterans who are ready to learn a new job,
trade or skill; need housing; and are able to live on their own, and/or want to be
part of a community yet have some
independence. A secondary target
audience could be ROTC students
who would offer a beneficial multi-
generational element to the
community and help students avoid
student loan debt.

USGBC FL is actively seeking strong, long-term strategic partners for this
initiative. There are several roles that require core competencies by several
different organizations. These roles will include:
• Land Owner/Developer – Entity willing to donate or lease land cheaply
that has existing infrastructure or help add needed infrastructure
• Local Builder – Entity to train, coordinate and oversee construction
• Program Administrator – An institution that coordinates the whole vision
of the initiative including the community and support services and can
provide oversight, longevity and institutional knowledge
• Veteran Support Organizations –
o An organization who can outreach and find the veterans ready for
this type of opportunity and support them in their transition
o An organization that can help with job placement in the community
• Funder(s) – Tiny houses are incredibly affordable yet we will need
sustainable funding sources to achieve this dream from grants,
corporations, in-kind product and service donations, and good old
fashioned sweat equity


• Vocational Trainers –
o USGBC Florida Green Veterans – the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that can
provide training in green building design, green building
construction, solar design and installation, energy measurement
and management and trauma resolution through green building.
o Operation Tiny Home – a 501(c)(3) veteran nonprofit that can host
three day workshops on how to build tiny houses on wheels.
• Additional Partners as the Project Evolves

Size of Community
An ideal one acre tiny house community would include five or six tiny houses, a
community center, and garden(s) along with parking and other infrastructure.

If two acres were available together, a community of 15 to 18 houses with the

same amenities would be possible.

Potential Cost
It is premature to estimate total cost of the initiative without land and a fully
defined scope; however, the average tiny house ranges from $35,000-$75,000
depending on materials used and appliances desired.


History & The Right Ingredients for Success

The concept for the tiny house
community came from LEEDing
Tiny, which hopes to be the first
ever LEED certified tiny house on
wheels, and USGBC Green
Veteran’s inspiration from Veteran
Victory Villages. LEEDing Tiny is a
198 square foot tiny house built by
volunteers and donations and with
Five-acre master plan for a veteran victory 85% repurposed materials. Its
village with shipping container homes journey over the last few months
has attracted thousands as well as
interest from the veteran, student, and elderly on a fixed income sectors.

LEEDing Tiny is built and beautiful. It is in the process of achieving its LEED
certification and then will go on an educational tour to teach about living tiny
and green building. Simultaneous to the tour, we will secure partners and lay
the groundwork for the tiny house community for veterans. LEEDIng Tiny will
serve as the first house of the community, going directly to a veteran in need.

This groundwork has already started.

• City of Jacksonville is supportive -- We have met with the City of
Jacksonville Planning and Building Department and they said they see no
problems with a special PUD, developing land already zoned for mobile
homes or seeking support through the Building Adjustment Board.
• Site Plan Donation -- A donation for a site plan has already been secured.
• Lots of Community Support -- This active duty and veteran-specific
region seems very supportive of this initiative from the hundreds of
people who have already signed-up saying they will come support and
testify on behalf of such a community.


• Operation Tiny Home – A proven veterans nonprofit, that has already

done this before, is excited to work with a like-minded nonprofit and
incorporate green building into its veteran workshops as well as explore
the opportunity of replicating sustainable tiny house communities
elsewhere with other USGBC Chapters and Communities.
• Local High School Academy Partnership – A. Phillip Randolph Career
Academy High School has a program that builds a tiny house every year
and teaches students construction, plumbing, wiring and more. Students
came over one day to help on LEEDing Tiny.
• UNF Environmental Center – The Center has already committed a current
student who is a veteran and member of the Center’s Environmental
Leadership Program to help coordinate, provide input and cohesion, and
grow this initiative for five hours a week.

Time is Now
Join this amazing initiative and be a
part of creating a wonderful
affordable, sustainable solution for
veterans and students!

Students at A. Phillip Randolph Career Academy
Sarah Boren
Director of Policy and Programs
USGBC Florida