New Hampshire Towns Turn Out Tiny-Home Dwellers

The regulatory pursuit of quality housing means some tiny-home residents actually end up with no housing.


For 12 years, the 25 residents of a "tiny house" community known as Walden EcoVillage managed to live in peace with both nature and local zoning officials in the town of Peterborough, New Hampshire.

That peace ended on December 15, when the city ordered the eviction of all the community's residents, whose diminutive dwellings, many of which were less than 400 square feet, offered an inexpensive but technically illegal housing option. An application from the village's owner to add more units to the property had alerted planning officials to the fact that its cottages and casitas were not permitted as full-time residences. A site visit also discovered a host of building code violations, including supposedly dangerous wiring.

"The timing for this is awful," Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker admitted to New Hampshire Public Radio. The code violations nevertheless necessitated the mid-winter evictions, he said. Former Walden tenants are now suing the village's owner, claiming he violated their leases by renting out homes that were not up to code.

A year earlier on the other side of the state, tiny-house owner Brianna O'Brien faced a similar struggle. In 2018, O'Brien had purchased a $29,000 prefabricated tiny house that she eventually plopped down on her parents' property in the town of Hampton Falls. Within a few months, planning officials were telling O'Brien that her humble abode's single exit, lack of plumbing, and proximity to the property line made it impermissible under the local zoning code. O'Brien also lacked the occupancy permit that is required for full-time residences.

Fixing these problems presented O'Brien with a Catch-22. "There is no building code for tiny houses, so you have to get an occupancy permit to get it zoned," she told Business Insider in December 2020. And you can't get an occupancy permit for a home that does not comply with the building code. "It's a cycle that feeds into itself," O'Brien said.

In August 2019, the Hampton Falls Zoning Board of Adjustment ruled against O'Brien, forcing her to move out. The tiny home still sits on her parents' property. She is just not allowed to live in it.

New Hampshire's quiet war on tiny homes hasn't escaped the notice of lawmakers. Last year, state legislators introduced an ultimately unsuccessful bill that would have required local governments to allow tiny houses on residential plots.

Tiny houses offer an attractive, affordable option for many residents of the "Live Free or Die" state by cutting down on the floor space and frills that make standard homes so expensive. But that economizing often does not sit well with local zoning boards, which commonly require that rental properties come with costly amenities. For too many tiny-house residents, the regulatory pursuit of quality housing means they end up with no housing.

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  1. For too many tiny-house residents, the regulatory pursuit of quality housing means they end up with no housing.

    Mission accomplished! While the local zoning boards may claim that they’re only trying to make sure poor people have access to quality housing, the reality is that they’re trying to get rid of poor people. If you can’t afford a nice, modern 1800 sf house on at least a quarter-acre suburban lot, they don’t want you living there at all. Go find somewhere else to be poor, we need the tax money from richer people than you.

    1. Yeah never mind that they could go into just about any other home in their jurisdiction and find wiring/plumbing/whatever that isn’t up to code. It just shows that “code” isn’t there to make things safer. It’s there to give you a way to get rid of people you don’t like. Just like minor traffic laws give cops an excuse to pull over anyone they don’t like and “I smelled MJ” gives cops an excuse to search anyone they don’t like.

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        1. The regulatory pursuit of quality housing means some tiny-home residents actually end up with no housing.

          That's because they don't fucking want you there. You are an eyesore. You are not like them. And they want you gone - now go.

          Fixing these problems presented O’Brien with a Catch-22. “There is no building code for tiny houses, so you have to get an occupancy permit to get it zoned,” she told Business Insider in December 2020. And you can’t get an occupancy permit for a home that does not comply with the building code. “It’s a cycle that feeds into itself,” O’Brien said.

          That's right! That's because they don't fucking want you there. My suggestion is to leave. Or get rid of that horrible tiny home bullshit. Garland way is starting to look like a little commune of poverty and ugliness that has got to go. There is a reason the "walden eco village" is called - "© 2021 Walden Eco Village and Utopia Living, Inc." Utopia living??? Yeah - fucking get outta here!

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          2. Maybe Internet Forums and comment sections should kick off people who use pink text in their posts. Now there is an eyesore!

          3. Well some people don’t need disgustingly large homes and just want a cozy place to sleep and don’t need much. But you being a New Yorker who has zero common sense are full of it!

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    2. its not that they are trying to get rid of poor people its that as i always say the “government does not like competition.” If people can provide modest housing for themselves then how will the government justify creating Brutalist housing high rise blocks where everyone is required to live in squaller.

      1. Crony Socialism.

      2. They live in the countryside about 6 miles from Petersborough. They are a "commune" seeking "utopia living."


        The people don't want them there, they couldn't take a hint, and now this is their solution to dispose of them. And it will be effective. They will be packing their hippie shit and leaving. Which is fine. It's a big nation, there are places out there for them. I would suggest Tacoma, Washington.

        1. The “Mount Holly” case, which limits local government’s use of zoning to push out low income folks, pointed out that as you said “its a big country” when every city takes on the same codes, there are not places out there for them. Zoning just pushs folks from town to town until there is little of anywhere left.

      3. *squalor

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    4. but they COULD tax the tiny homes, too. Wiring can be brought up to code, and plumbing. They’ve made up their mind:” this is an elite club,and you ain’t in it”.

      In the area where I live there must be ten thousand people living under tarps, no sanitation, trash everywhere, looks worse than any Guatmalan or Nicaraguan or Dominican barrio,and I’ve been in quite a few in all those countries. nd is probably far less healthy. They NEVER enforce mas mandates, quarantine, distsncing, large gatheirng restrictions.

      But let anyone in any of these cities park a motorhome or trailer and have someone LIVE in it, theyll coe down on you like ten tonnes of used bricks.
      Its all about the master/overlord syndrome. Every such system needs some peons to pee on.

    5. A tiny/low cost house does not generate the tax revenue to cover the amenities and services that people expect from towns.

      Too many such colonies start out “cute” but following Gresham’s law, eventually a few bad apples move in, drugs follow and does lawlessness.

      1. yeah, people in big houses never do drugs

  2. Im sure those compact 1000 person plus apartment complexes aren’t death traps either. But we love to build those

    1. Exactly. “We” build those. That’s fine. Can’t have individuals going off and doing their own tiny death traps…

      1. ^+100000; The [WE] mob.

      2. A death trap so tiny you would barely get burned on the way out the front door, which is 5 feet away?

    2. They have bathrooms and wiring up to code

  3. “The timing for this is awful,” Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker admitted to New Hampshire Public Radio.

    A television interview would have exposed his obvious authority boner.

    1. “The timing for this is awful,” he admitted gleefully.

    2. I thought there were laws against kicking people out during inclement weather. That’s how the newly homeless die: exposure.

  4. Thanks for this article. There is a real need to allow out of the box solution for housing in our country. City are getting larger and so more densely populated. Part of this is because this this were the job are moving. To address this we need more housing options, especially those allowing more people in smaller spaces. That means we need zoning and building codes to accommodate this density.

    My city, Madison, is considering zoning changes to allow greater housing density. I fully support this effort and see it slowing down the urban sprawl that is occurring. It will also give people make less money options for housing. I suspect the zoning changes to get stiff opposition.

    1. Does Madison have an ordinance prohibiting more than 2 unrelated people living together (preventing roommates sharing the rent) or preventing homeowners from renting out rooms as a county I’m quite familiar with does? It’s almost as if they not only don’t want poor people, they don’t want single people, either.

    2. Mod why are you against urban sprawl? I don’t personally don’t see it as a bad thing. I see greater density within a small foot print also as a recipe for disaster mentally. I don’t think the solution is to keep squeezing folks into smaller and smaller areas, much more versed folks than I have studied what behavioral sink can do and I actually think we are seeing some of the effects nationally right now.

      1. I think there are a number of reasons to oppose urban sprawl with the biggest being environmental concerns and economic concerns. Well planned a city can expand in a way that is environmental safe and economically sensible. But to often this is not done.

        As for population density, many places have adapted well to higher density. Think Japan. Again a key here is to plan well. Have basic services easily accessible. Inter mix green space to allow people to spread out in leisure. Think of older American cities where neighborhoods were often constructed around a common green space.

        1. As for population density, many places have adapted well to higher density. Think Japan.

          Do you people even have an inkling of understanding as to how complex societies actually operate, versus the Fully Automated Gay Space Luxury Communism you imagine it to be?

          1. Being from madison explains why he thinks hes a moderate. They think Obama is a fascist out there.

            1. I was going to say the same thing. My leftist friends from Massachusetts think they’re moderates too.

              1. Just about every American thinks he is “average” and a “moderate”.

            2. Obama is a fascist loon! Also he is the cause for the division and the reason why you yanks got stuck with trump for for years!

          2. So enlighten me on how complex societies work and what that has to do with living in more densely populated areas. By the way who is you people?

            1. Like Japan, where I have heard the term “demographic death spiral” and there’s a movement to repopulate the exurbs?

              There’s a model.

              1. While this maybe true I even in the suburbs of Japan the houses are smaller and closer. Japan can also accomplish this because it has lots of mass transit available. There are plenty of cars in Japan but what you see even more is trains and buses. Japan also has huge numbers of bicycles. I noted that electric bikes were extremely popular.

        2. so what ARE the environmental concerns for a tiny house like this woman’s? The dirrt was already there not being used. Sewage? How much does ONE person produce, say,per week? Add that to what the main house generates, no sigificant difference. Besides, if she bought a “real house” she’d be contribuiting her oersonal waste at the same rate she is now, perhaps even more so. When it goes into the sewer main, it matters not a whit whether it came from the crapper in the tiny house or from the “big house” on the same piece of dirt. In short, the size of the houses used to shelter a thousand people does not change the infrastructure needs whether they live in a large apartment complex, or in tiny houses tucked in a corner of the five acre parcel .Same number of people neeeding to dispose of the same quanitty of waste, consume the same amount of water, etc per person. WHERE they live does not change any of that.

          That’s just the priviledged overlords in a desparate attempt to keep those who might be satisfied with far less from speaking and taking hold of the reins….lknmn

          1. Do you really want to live downwind of someone’s pit toilet? Do you know how ground water contamination happens?

            The examples in the article were VILLAGES of substandard housing, or a shack with no plumbing. All will lead to ecological horror shows.

        3. How many east coast cities have you lived in?

    3. In my neck of the woods we used to have barrios. Last one in town was a string of about 10×10 rooms. Some still exist out past the fields on county land. I did some work on them and they’re about the same.

      I’m not calling that ideal in any way shape or form. But the people who lived in them were NOT welfare mooches. Those were just starting out spots.

      I don’t see why the homeless need giant houses, one of those would be affordable to help them get back on their feet. They don’t want to be back on their feet then they can take a bunk at the shelter.

      Also, pandemic time. Driving through Mountain View yesterday. Heart of Silicon Valley. And there’s a giant impromptu RV park in the parking lot of a closed office complex. Tech workers having to live out of their RVs and campers. Not the first I’ve seen in Silicon Valley. Heck, some of that gypsy tech culture started before the pandemic. But now we’re getting actual gypsy encampments. But they’re working for a living, so more power to them.

      1. I don’t think we are talking homeless here, we are talking about people who want to live simple and cheap. I look at the development going up around my community and all I see is big. No one is developing a area of two bedroom, one and a half bath starter homes for young people. All the development is McMansions.

        1. One thing I’ve noticed is that the “connection fees” charged by cities can be hefty, say $45,000. No house builder is gonna sink $45,000 into a connection and then build a cheap house on it. Nope, bigger, and spendier.

          1. I suspect this is part of the problem. With the fees and paperwork it is smarter to build 10 big houses costing $300K each rather than 20 smaller houses at $150K each.

          2. but the connexion fees are a per residence fee, right? Water power sewer? So what does it matter, at $45K per pipe, whether the resuling home is 400 sf or 4000 sf? costs $40K or $400K? Those who want a lot of space around themselves have to pay more, but what about those that are content with half, or a tenth, that? Its all a matter of removing options. Instead of 10K sf lots, build 2Ksf lots. There will be five times as many, and the city will get five times the fees, but have nowhere near five times the user load when the houses are huge. Some jurisdictions charge on a per square foot of the house, or on a per-fixture that dumps water into the sewer.

            Nope, the overlords have determined the price of membersnip in their club, and thus to a large extent WHO can be IN their club.

        2. The cost of permitting (and years of legal fights) and regulation- complaint kitchens and baths, means that builders would lose money on each small unit sold. Each new noble sounding requirement adds to costs, and pushes the break even point higher.

      2. given the cost of living in that silicon valley area, its a wonder they can even afford the battered old motorhomes they have.

      3. That Roma tech culture. 🙂

    4. You entirely miss the entire subject of your comment.
      “May I Gov-God saviors?”

    5. There’s a big push in California for “granny flats”, small “dwelling units” you can put in your back yard. As if most of them won’t just be rented out to multiple immigrant families.

  5. So don’t live there full time.
    Go to a motel for two weeks a year.

    1. Being a frequent guest to a local motel will get you put on a sex trafficking list.

    2. The problem here is that many motels (not all) and low-cost housing have bedbugs, meth contamination, or both. I’m speaking here as a motel worker and resident. A minority of low-income people cause serious problems for the rest, including retirees and the disabled.

      Cities can solve this problem the same way they handle under-code older housing. They can prohibit resale until the dwelling is brought up to code.

      Cities and states actually are contributing to the lack of safety by refusing to allow permanent foundations on housing they deem undersized or non-conforming. Any of these small houses could be put on slabs or other foundations and hurricane tie-downs required. Most tiny house dwellers actually want permanent foundations.

      Camper parks are allowed, and campers have no permanent foundations, little or no insulation leading to increased power bills and pollution, and flimsy plumbing.

  6. Norther New Englanders used to be pretty good about minding their own business. I suspect that too many Massholes busybodies and crackpots moving into southern NH is the source of this, on both sides of the issue.

    1. Exactly. As a New Englander, I think that the “wall” we needed was one between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. New Hampshire was the last refuge from statist authoritarianism in New England after Vermont went full leftist. That’s gone too now.

      1. I see the Free State Project was a rousing success.

        1. They actually had some pretty good electoral success last year. Not enough to stop all the nonsense, but a good number of liberty minded people got elected. FSP certainly hasn’t been as successful as I would have liked, but it has had an influence on state politics (though perhaps not as much as the masshole invaders).

        2. Yeah, all those fauxtarians from California moving in and the next thing you know they want California style code enforcements.

        3. Sadly, yes. I had signed the Free State Project (FSP) petition committing to move there years ago, but circumstances kept me from doing so. I’ll have to get in touch with them about that and let them know it’ll have to be on a different time frame or that I’ll just have to be a frequent visitor.

          Meanshile, that means that Authoritarians in my present home 20 are stuck with a bee in their bonnet. With no more tiny houses in Petersborough, perhaps other Authoritarians elsewhere are stuck with libertarian neighbors too. 🙂

          There are so many things libertarians can do better. Those “Robin Hooder” guys in Keene, NH who were filling coins in the parking meters and harrassing meter readers were still giving revenue to the government. They could have instead been the inventors of the Uber and Lyft apps and helped people circumvent City parking entirely…not to mention going on to be billionaires and aiding the cause even more!

          Also, the FSP should have franchised their ideas to people in other States who can’t make the move or just want to stay put. Nestles has the slogan “Make You House A Toll House.” FSP could say: “Make Your State A Free State.” Hmmm….

          1. “They could have instead been the inventors of the Uber and Lyft apps and helped people circumvent City parking entirely…”

            You realize that Uber and Lyft are (gasp)…corporations. With Keene State there, Keene is pretty far left, especially for New Hampshire.

            1. You’re right. That hadn’t occured to me. Progressivism poisons everything, including libertarian movements.

              This might also explain why Grafton, NH got overran by grizzly bears recently. A real libertarian community would have entrepreneurs selling and spreading bear repellant along the periphery of landowner’s plots, along with locking garbage cans 12 Gauges and .30-30s.

              There must be Pax in the water supply of some of these gorram little Utopias.

          2. the FSP should have franchised their ideas to people in other States who can’t make the move

            If they had given a shit about achieving something rather than just signaling, then they would have realized that’s what political parties – focused on local stuff – are. FSP ideas were never worth a shit until they were implemented and since they haven’t been implemented they are now (with inflation) worth shit.

        4. Still waiting for New Hampshire to vote Libertarian in the presidential election. Or even pick the most libertarian leaning Republican in the primaries.

          2008: Ron Paul was fifth to John McCain, 8 to 37 percent
          2012: Ron Paul was second to Mitt Romney, 23 to 39 percent.
          2016: Rand Paul had already dropped out for some reason, and got 0.7 percent. Ted Cruz was the best option,third to Donald Trump, 12 to 37 percent.

    2. Yeah, it’s bad. This story is from the town I grew up in (and currently live adjacent to) and I’m familiar with the place. The whole idea of an occupancy permit offends me. If I want to live in a shed, why is that anyone’s business? And I reject the idea that the town has a legitimate interest in maintaining property values or housing stock. That’s supposed to be up to the property owners.

    3. Here in Arizona we have similar problems but with Californians. They flee high taxation and move here and support high taxation while driving up property values that is detrimental to locals.

      1. Another problem for Arizona libertarian-conservatives– the Republican primary-voter base is batsh*t crazy, choosing candidates like Joe Arpaio. Arizona’s Republican governor is sane, but his political days are numbered/

      2. The Conquer and Consume principle the lefty-minded lives by…

    4. Yankees were never about minding their own business.

  7. My grandpa built his own house. He built a half sunken adobe, about 10×12. For his wife and two toddlers. Then he got to work on the main house. Lived in the adobe until the main wooden house was done, along with the barn and smithy. The tiny adobe was then converted to a tack house. My uncle had tiny log cabin maybe just a tad larger, then built his real house and then the cowhand bunks.

    So yeah, micro-houses. Damned New Hampshirans don’t know how easy they got it.

    1. Luxury! We used to dream of a tiny log cabin. We lived in a rolled up newspaper next to the sewer grate on a highway. Every morning we’d get up and have some cold gravel for breakfast and then head down – uphill both ways – to the mill where we paid the mill owner to work there because of all the promised opportunities in the future.

      1. Sheer luxury! We used to dream of living in a rolled up newspaper. All we had was a piece of cardboard over our heads and even then we had to take turns standing underneath it.
        Then we walked 12 miles, up hill each way to school and if we were late our father would beat us to death.
        If you try to tell kids that today, they wouldn’t believe you.

        1. “Very passable! Very passable indeed, Obediah!”

        2. You got to stand underneath the cardboard? We floated on a pizza box moored to a drain opening onto a canal. Had to swim miles in either direction to where we could climb a sheer concrete face to get to dry land where we sold our body parts for expenses. One day I came home without lungs, had to go back and dicker for one in exchange for most of my liver.

        3. You guys could afford cardboard? We had to make our own, from sawdust we scraped together from Mom’s third job as a cleaning lady down at the sawmill.

    2. and none of those buildings would have been allowed by modern building codes.

    3. This is a solution often used by construction workers. Buy a cheap trailer, live on site and start building, having your buddies help you in exchange for some Bud or buds. Once the house is finished, someone else gets the cheap trailer and the homeowner gets to help that guy achieve some independence.

  8. Also, just claim the micro-house is your garden shed. Problem solved.

    1. “…and they made their house from a toolshed Grandaddy rolled out on two logs, and they built walls all around it and they made that house a home….”

      And then the city ordered it torn down for not meeting code or having a proper foundation.

  9. Tiny houses offer an attractive, affordable option for many residents of the “Live Free or Die” state by cutting down on the floor space and frills that make standard homes so expensive.

    The “Live free with thousands of pages of byzantine regulations, or Die” state.

  10. There is a building code for tiny houses. It’s the same building code for normal houses. It just happens to state that you can’t have an occupied building / residential unit of less than 400 square feet or an interior room that’s smaller than 7×10.

    Those provisions in the code were designed to combat overcrowded tenement slum housing in major east coast cities like New York and Boston and Philadelphia. Perhaps they don’t apply as well to rural New Hampshire, where that’s much less likely to be an issue.

    Here’s the thing, though: the International Building Code is written by global building industry experts to be a basic baseline code model that should apply more or less everywhere – BUT – It’s adopted locally. It could very well be that these provisions meant to prevent slum housing shouldn’t be in the ‘universal’ version of the code at all. But it’s also true that each local jurisdiction has the option of amending the code when they adopt it as an ordinance. For instance, it’s very common to see that a municipality has adopted the code, minus the portion of chapter 9 that says you need sprinklers in every residence.

    In the case of Peterborough they have chosen to adopt the NH state building code, but haven’t bothered to amend it at all. The state is less likely to amend the building code in any sort of a tailored and precise manner than local municipalities in any event. In fact, most states that HAVE a state building code (there aren’t that many) make it far more restrictive (California, New York, I’m looking at you) whereas municipalities tend to remove regulations that they don’t think are necessary, or don’t wish to enforce.

    1. That day the “experts” showed up and kicked you out of your own house. That indeed has been the theme for the last century.

  11. How dare those people live like our ancestors? How uncivil! No-one could possibly survive like that!

    1. Well, all of our ancestors were slave owning white supremacists, so their lifestyle has to be eliminated.

      (actually, the problem is that they lived without bowing to the fascists)

      1. “lived without bowing to the fascists” — Perfectly Stated!

  12. You can design a tiny home that meets all code requirements. I know because I have. now they may have minimum size requirement that is greater than IBC or UBC or CBC codes but that would just be sizeist for the purposes of hate

  13. For some reason when I saw the headline Tiny Home Dwellers I pictured a village of leprechauns.

    1. “Aye! Rick killed a Hippie!”

    2. They have buried their pot of gold there too. That’s the real reason for the ‘code violations’

  14. Sounds like new Hampshire has fallen victim to the liberal invasion, repleat with its karens.
    The Mayor and city council of L.A. proposed building tiny houses for all 60,000 homeless at a cost of….ta da!:$180,000 each.
    To go along with the high speed rail system that former Gov. Jerry Moonbeam built.

    1. i saw that number too. those dopes have been told to their faces they are being buttfucked at a buck 80 a throw and they still push ahead. fucking retards don’t care because they are spending YOUR money. it’s easy to spend other folks dough…painless even, unless your the sucker being mulcted for the cash.

    2. I heard it was more like 300K each with overhead costs of the administrators. When you could just buy everyone a nice used motorhome for probably 30K each.

    3. At least you can get to Merced in 4 hours (250 miles away, in the middle of nowhere) on the “bullet” train, once you make it to the terminal in Lancaster after fighting LA traffic for 2 hours.

      When the first stage is completed, I mean, sometime in 2029 or so. Right now it’s just a few overpasses and a website. The first bullet train staffers are probably starting to draw their pensions by then.

  15. I use, not something I’m used by…I get that it can be addictive and I mostly just don’t want to be sucked in to such time wasting activities. I use it on my computer only and maybe once a day to read newspaper articles.


  16. An application from the village’s owner to add more units to the property had alerted planning officials to the fact that its cottages and casitas were not permitted as full-time residences. A site visit also discovered a host of building code violations, including supposedly dangerous wiring.

    “The timing for this is awful,” Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker admitted to New Hampshire Public Radio. The code violations nevertheless necessitated the mid-winter evictions, he said. Former Walden tenants are now suing the village’s owner, claiming he violated their leases by renting out homes that were not up to code.

    Even through the forgiving lens of the Reason writer, this whole thing looks like a gawdawful mess.

    1. Why apply to build more units then? Just put them up.

  17. NH sounds like an awful place to try to live

    1. An awful place to live, like most others, if you are poor. However this measure will protect the market value of the homes of normal homeowners. Which is what I assume it is intended to do.

      1. What ‘measure’? They aren’t proposing any new legislation. They are suddenly and arbitrarily enforcing worn-out old ones that weren’t designed to apply to this particular situation.

        The building codes are not designed in any way to protect property values. They are designed to protect people from injury, illness, and death. You may be confusing them with zoning ordinances.

        1. Codes are about a lot more than that. There are a lot of things in there that are really conveniences or luxuries and don’t really make anything safer. For example, there is nothing particularly unsafe about having a house that is under 400 sf. And if people are willing to accept the risks of shoddy construction, why should the state or town have any say in how they choose to live?

          1. I’m not advocating that the building codes are always a necessary intrusion. I’m trying to clear up the motivation behind the codes. The justification for codes is to protect life, health, and property.

            The 400 SF requirement, like the minimum size of a habitable room (7×10), and the requirements that each dwelling have at least 1 room of at least 120 SF, are relics of a bygone time when slumlords in a few very large cities would cram people into tiny rental units like sardines. This actually did become a health issue for them, which is why it became part of the code. It’s also why that particular chapter of the code (12) has requirements for things like windows, plumbing, minimum ceiling heights, etc.

            In areas that are not susceptible to this sort of overcrowding, this really isn’t a necessary standard to maintain. Most places would be fine amending their ordinance to strike out that section of the code books to allow tiny houses.

            Many places get along fine without building codes, and the buildings get built to just about the same standards whether an area is enforcing any legal standard or not. Because designers and builders have other motivations to provide a quality product, such as legal liability, their professional reputations, etc, they would tend to follow industry standards regardless.

            They do make a bit more sense in crowded metropolitan areas like NYC or Chicago, etc. where shoddy construction has a greater chance of damaging the lives or properties of others if they fail.

            1. I visited Sri Lanka about a year after the destructive tsunami a few years back. I was impressed by the improvised housing put by the stricken residents using scrap and materials at hand.

            2. I see your point, but the code develops far beyond what was put in place decades ago to combat substandard slums. They add stuff every few years. And tons of it has nothing to do with safety and adequate housing, but seems to be aimed at keeping housing up to a certain standard, which is tied to property values. So I think the intentions behind the codes have shifted quite a bit since they were first implemented.
              I could see reason in having some kind of code for rental property or homes being built to sell. A property owner should be able to build as shitty and dangerous a house for himself as he wants.

            3. Even so, shouldn’t the law then regulate the renting out of such buildings rather than the building of them or occupancy by the builder? They could pass a law saying that landlords can’t rent out tiny houses to more than X people and it would take care of the slumlord issue while allowing people to live in their own homes that they built.

          2. Neighbors are concerned that the poor will reduce the value of their homes which may well be their most significant investment. Towns also prefer wealthier residents to the poor because the wealthier residents pay more taxes than the poor who may not pay any.

            1. There is literally not one thing in the building code that has anything to do with keeping poor people out or protecting property values.

              1. You have to look to the desires of the residents and those who collect the taxes. They will manipulate the implementation of the codes to suit them. Understand this, and you will have grasped how much of politics works. There is a certain cynicism at work here.

                1. The building codes are not written by residents or anyone who collects taxes. Building codes are written by the International Code Council, which is a group of industry experts in the various building and construction disciplines: Architects, engineers (Civil, Structural, Fire Protection, Plumbing, Mechanical, Electrical, etc) code officials, contractors.


                  You are thinking of local municipal ordinances and / or zoning laws. Property maintenance laws, homeowner association rules, etc – These are not building codes.

            2. And I’m concerned that someone will improve property around me in a way that drives up my home value and increasing my tax bill.
              In NH, everything local is funded by property tax, which does give towns an incentive to promote more valuable homes being built.

              1. “And I’m concerned that someone will improve property around me in a way that drives up my home value and increasing my tax bill.”

                You might change your tune if you found yourself suddenly surrounded by poor people living in low cost shacks.

              2. In San Francisco people are concerned that highly paid engineers will move into the neighborhood and upgrade the housing stock and attract successful bars and restaurants and shops to cater to them, making it too expensive for the performance artists and homeless drug addicts to live there and losing the quaint local character and smell.

          3. The closest thing that I can think of in the code to what I might consider a convenience is that the National Electrical Code requires that electrical outlets be spaced no further than 10 or 12 feet apart within a room.

            I’m not sure what the safety justification for that is. I’d like to pretend that it’s because a bunch of electricians got together and wrote the codes such that they would get paid to install more outlets, but the NFPA* writes the electrical code.

            *National Fire Protection Association

            1. I think that one is to discourage use of extension cords.

              I’m pretty sure there are other examples. But it’s been a while since I looked at the codes. I got pretty familiar with them a few years ago when I built my house, though.

        2. If building codes can keep the poor out then no new legislation is necessary.

      2. Correction Needed, “However this measure will protect the monopolized market value of the homes of current homeowners.”

        Crony Socialism and it’s ANTI-MARKET tyrannical principles outlined to a T.

        All good things come from pointing Gov-Guns at people and ensuring they (as someone else states above) “bow down to the fascists”.

        1. How is this a good thing?

          1. The last statement is sarcastic. 🙂

  18. Oh, it’s not so bad. Where don’t they have codes like this? It’s pretty much the standard building code for the country. NH is very locally controlled as well. Towns are in charge of all of this stuff and many are much more lax than Peterborough.
    Of course, if you don’t like winter, or humid summers, or you like cities then maybe it’s not such a great place to be. But I like it and it is a pretty good place to be left alone.

      1. If you are attached to fully pronounced “r” sounds, you might not like it either. It’s pretty different from Boston, if that’s what you are thinking of.

    1. “Where don’t they have codes like this?”
      Should be, “When didn’t they have codes like this?”

      It wasn’t that long ago – under a century when the USA use to somewhat care about the exact principle the nation fought a revolutionary war to obtain; To be about Individual Liberty and Justice for ALL (as-in each individual) instead about the modern day narrative of tyranny and who get the Gov-Gun *Power* to rule others even in their own pursuit of shelter.

  19. The Biden Administration could strike a blow for affordable housing by sending a team of attorneys to write up Peterborough NH for every conceivable violation of a regulation, no matter how trivial. As town officials were buried under $100 million or more in tickets, would-be karens in other NH towns would likely be prompted to reconsider.

    1. Used shipping containers start at 2000 apparently. If international trade collapses, expect prices to drop. Transporting and fitting out the container for habitation will increase the cost, clearly, but still cheap enough and suitable for off the grid types.

  20. But all the double-wides you want, I’m guessing.

    1. So long as everything has a $5000 Gov-God “savior” approval label stamped on it.

      Only Gov-Guns can force people to pay for a Gov-God “Savior” career of one’s own daily harassment. Removing the threats of Gov-Guns just might provide a VALUE to society instead of a stupid tyrant.

      Re: ISO, IEEE, etc, etc, etc… All free-market non-gun threatening standards organizations which has proven to provide 1B as in billions times more constructive value to society than daily harassment and gun threats.

      1. The BIG point; If it’s not a ‘standard’ individuals should get ‘SHOT DEAD’ over then it’s not a ‘standard’ the government should address.

        The use of gun *force* / threats is the only thing that differences government from any other run-of-the mill organization.

        A reality the founding fathers saw that very few people see anymore today. Thus history will most likely have to repeat itself due to human ignorance about what the USA was founded upon and what made it great to begin with.

  21. Fucking assholes…they can say whatever they want but it’s all about money as usual. Can’t make much on a tiny home so it’s gotta go!

    1. “May I? Gov-God saviors?” — The premise has been set.

  22. What will the good people of Peterborough think when their town begins to resemble L.A., San Fran or Portland, Or.?
    Won’t that be nice? Tent cities everywhere along with the trash, human waste, used needles and assorted flotsam and jetsam of human life.
    Then, there’s the crime, the assaults on people shopping down town, and let’s add some crazies, trashed out on Meth, fetanyl and the ones who haven’t taken their Haldol for a couple weeks.
    Haw, haw, haw…..would be a sight to see.
    Then, they can blame Trump.

    1. In the meantime, it makes more sense to provide affordable housing even if it means they aren’t 1800 sq.ft. McMansions.
      The idea of small or mini homes is beginning to catch on. At least people will have some roots to put down.
      The NIMBY attitude is responsible for the homeless problems in L.A. and Portland and everywhere else.
      Excessive taxation is another set of problems.

    2. “Then, they can blame Trump.”

      More likely they will blame the poor. Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper to let the poor remain in the tent cities and have the trash. human waste, used needles removed as it is removed from wealthier areas of the city?

      1. lol.. Typically your big paint-bush of the subject is not a “they” issue. It’s just the reality of mother nature. If one decides to own the title of “human waste” then they will live as such (in a ‘just’ society anyways). Stealing from those who decide to benefit society to subsidize “human waste” only encourages “human waste” lifestyles by removing natural laws of actions have reactions (rewards/consequences) until one day the whole city, county or nation resorts to nothing but a “human waste” land.

        That is the very undeniable and historically proven over and over again fault of the DNC ‘poor’ party cries which is the very fault of communism/socialism ideology. In today’s broken societies of DNC-Lobbied communities it’s reality is staring everyone right in the face..

        Whether Democratic people remain bias-Ly ignorant of the reality their theology has created staring them right in the face due to their own [WE] affiliation pride or whether they consciously chose to acknowledge the principles that made the USA great remains to be seen.

        Imagine a child day care center that rewards every ‘gimmie that’ tantrum with everything they cry and demand although never ‘earned’. That is the social mentality Democrats have created with their “social justice” battles.

        The Gov-Gun Power to STEAL whatever they demand. There is NO foundation in *EARNING* / creating. Only tyrannical dictatorial demanding.

        1. Why does living in a tent make one ‘human waste?’ And what is wrong with a city making the same effort at maintaining a sanitary environment with tent dwellers as those who live under brick and mortar?

          1. Depends. Is the tent pitched on land of the tent owner? Does the tent owner *earn* (< keyword) or at least providing their own sanitary service?

            I have zero problem with "tent cities" so long as they're not demanding what hasn't been *earned* by gov-gun threats or criminal threats (one of the same these days).

      2. The problem is the cities can’t keep up as the trash, garbage, feces etc as it continues to pile up in cities like L.A., San Fran and Portland to the point where it’s all out of control.
        Furthermore as city governments continue to loose revenues due to the lock downs and violent riots that have destroyed so many small businesses, they will have to make some harsh decisions and cleaning up the streets won’t be one of them.
        The people who run the cities live in nice comfortable suburbs. They could care less if downtown Portland is burned to the ground.

        1. “The problem is the cities can’t keep up as the trash, garbage, feces etc as it continues to pile up in cities like L.A., San Fran and Portland to the point where it’s all out of control.”

          Can’t or won’t? I see no reason why, given the necessary application of resources, time and effort, that those living in tent cities shouldn’t enjoy similar services that wealthier residents take for granted.

          “They could care less if downtown Portland is burned to the ground.”

          So it’s won’t, after all.



    for those who have never dealt with a permit desk or bldg inspector there was no reason other than assholiness by those entities that resulted in the story we just read. no law i know of requires the adjacent structures to be inspected or even the topic of discussion. contractors like myself KNOW you never let the inspector farther onto the job than is required. NEVER let them walk the long way around a job if they might see a patio cover or stairway they don’t need to see. you just never know what sort of dickhead you’ve drawn. we block doors and drape off attached rooms. and if you can mcgyver a job w/o an inspector or permits NOW YOU KNOW WHY…BECAUSE NEW HAMPSHIRE!

  24. Everyone hates zoning on their property, they just want the rules to apply to everyone else.

    Let 14 tiny houses get planted on the 1/2 acre next door to you and see how long before you call the zoning board

  25. Building codes drive up housing prices and increase homelessness. No one was homeless when you could build a house out of anything, any way you wanted to.

    In LA someone donated tiny homes to some homeless people living on an abandoned city bridge. The city tore them down because they didn’t have indoor plumbing. As if the tents and boxes they lived in before that did.

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