In an effort to encourage residents to explore more environmentally friendly dwellings, the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee today advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Smith and Senator Troy Singleton that would require the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) to create the ‘Sustainable Tiny Home Pilot Program’.
“Tiny homes give residents the opportunity to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle,” said Senator Smith (D-Middlesex/Somerset). “For instance, it is estimated that 25 to 40 percent of the national solid waste stream is construction-related, with only 20 percent of it being recycled. Tiny homes require significantly less materials in their construction, in turn generating less waste. Additionally, these tiny homes emit 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions annually, far less than the 28,000 pounds of CO2 emitted by the average home. With this pilot program, we would be able to encourage our residents to turn towards a more sustainable type of living that would also provide a significant aid towards addressing climate change and reducing carbon emissions.”
The bill, S-2606, would establish a three-year pilot program that would allow a maximum of two municipalities, selected by the HMFA executive director, located within each of the northern, central and southern regions of the state to partake in the program.
“Tiny homes should not be dismissed as a mere trend in housing; instead, they should be viewed as a solution to a very big problem,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “While tiny homes are not new, many residents are still not aware of how environmentally friendly they are. These dwellings can provide an affordable and sustainable place for people to call home.”
Under the pilot program, the HMFA would also award grants to eligible builders who submit an application that would go toward the construction of tiny homes within the pilot municipalities. The grant award would total $1.65 million and would be awarded for each year that the program is in operation.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 4-0.