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Bloomington Considering 'Tiny Houses' As Partial Homeless Solution

Not in Our Town

City of Bloomington officials are working on one aspect of a possible solution to the homeless problem downtown.

Alderman Karen Schmidt, whose ward includes the business district--which has seen an increase in homeless individuals, says so-called "tiny houses" may help the situation. Tiny houses are small, moveable homes generally under 500 square feet that underscore a lifestyle of simple living.

"We want to be very thoughtful and try to find a place in our community that doesn't feel isolated in any way. These are our residents and we want them to feel welcome, and we want it on a bus line," said Schmidt.

Schmidt said there seems to be momentum for bringing the tiny house concept into the homeless solution mix.

"I think it has a lot of traction and it has a lot of people at the table from the city, PATH and the shelters," she added.

Schmidt said zoning issues have to be resolved and she says the city's community development staff is working on that. The homeless problem downtown was spotlighted last week during the GLT News series "Homeless in Bloomington."
Editor's Note -- At the request of the source, WGLT removed this sentence:   "Schmidt said the homes could be located together near downtown."  WGLT reporters could not locate the supporting recording to indicate what was actually said or not said. 

Willis is a Bloomington, IL, native. During his senior year at Bloomington High School, he finished third in the "Radio Speaking" division of the state speech contest, the only year he competed.
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