In partnership with the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), Bill Vipond, president of the Issaquah-based Vipond Group, held a community tiny house work party on Saturday, Dec. 8.
The event was held to put the finished touches on a tiny house project that will be donated to one of the Low Income Housing Institute’s (LIHI) tiny house villages. The 8-foot by 12-foot house featured insulation, electricity, heat, windows, and a lockable door.
Vipond said he wanted to do something to help combat homelessness in the area and got involved with putting together tiny houses as a method of implementing short-term affordable housing solutions through groups like LIHI. The Vipond Group had experience with this type of work as they had previously donated their efforts to provide more units at a tiny house village at Whittier Heights in Seattle.
With this experience, Vipond wanted to bring this project to Issaquah as well. Since the current Issaquah zoning codes don’t allow a tiny house village location, he said, he wanted to hold the building and finishing event in Issaquah as a way to raise awareness of this method of creating housing for the homeless population.
Vipond raised money through friends, colleagues and clients to fund the materials needed to put the house together. To mark it as an Issaquah creation, the group painted the house in a salmon color.
Sharon Lee, executive director of LIHI, said the house built in Issaquah would be going to their newest tiny house village in Olympia. The Olympia village will be the 11th created and operated by LIHI.
LIHI provides the tiny house villages with social workers and case mangers to help provide guidance and stabiltiy to the residents, and hopefully find them work and a more stable housing solution. Lee said the issue of homelessness is pervasive in the area, but community work has been an important element in helping those in need.
“We believe that you can end homelessness for people,” she said. “And this is one way to do it which is cost effective and inexpensive — the houses are inexpensive, heated and secure.”
Vipond also thanked many of the sponsors of the project including WSA Properties, the Walker family, the Vipond family, the Bockner family, Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, Farallon Consulting, Cairncross and Hempelmann, Fuel Talent and the Van Wyck, and Porter Real Estate Team with Windmere.
For more on LIHI and the tiny house villages, visit lihi.org/tiny-houses.