Go Small and Go Home: UC Berkeley Team Working to Create an Affordable Housing Fix

tiny house

A team of Cal students is setting out to demonstrate one possible solution to the Bay Area’s gentrification and escalating housing costs: Go tiny.

By next fall, the group plans to finish building a net-zero energy, approximately 250-square-foot home-on-wheels at UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station, a 152-acre plot that the university plans to eventually transform into the Berkeley Global Campus.

It’s a two-year quest—with the first year focused just on design—during which the students hope to demonstrate that UC Berkeley and the city of Richmond can preserve affordable housing options once the Global Campus development is a reality.

“It’s designed to address some of the issues facilitated with building such a large campus in a city with a lot of low income residents who are rent burdened,” says Ian Bolliger, a UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group Ph.D. student leading the tiny house team that dubbed its project Tiny House in My Backyard, or THIMBY. “Displacement is a big issue where you bring in tens of thousands of people in this campus, so we’re looking (to create) housing that will be mobile and affordable.”

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