Tiny House Movement: Angelenos find unique solution as housing crisis continues

As the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area continues to experience a housing crisis, some Angelenos are finding a unique solution and one that is small, really small.  

FOX 11's Gina Silva got an inside look into the Tiny House Movement as part of the Surviving Los Angeles series. She learned the movement is turning into a profitable business.

"I often don’t hit home runs but this is one of them," Tom Waire said. Like many Angelenos, Waire was looking for a way to generate extra income. "You gotta make $100,000 to $150,000 just to make ends meet,” he said about living in L.A.

So, when he came across escapetraveler.net offering free tiny houses to homeowners willing to rent them out, Tom jumped at the opportunity.


"They delivered the unit for free and we split the profits. They do the marketing and this unit has been booked probably 25 nights a month for the last year or so," Waire explained.

The tiny house rents for $150 a night and Waire gets to keep 40% of the profit.  He says it pays for his mortgage. 

Now, the City of L.A. passed an ordinance, which allows homeowners to have tiny houses as Accessory Dwelling Units. As a result, more people are going small.

"Housing is incredibly expensive here. Our mortgage and maintenance costs prior to going tiny was around $3200," Steven Mejia said. 

Now, those costs are down to $900 a month, which is what Mejia pays a homeowner to keep his tiny house on their property. It’s a win-win for both. "They obviously get to make an income without having to invest too much money," Mejia added.


Mejia and his wife built their own 360 square foot tiny home, which is actually way bigger than most. "In the tiny house community, we’re considered a giant tiny house or the mansion of tiny houses," he said. The tiny house has a tv room,  a kitchen with a full-size stove and refrigerator. There are also two lofts, one for their boy and another used as a closet. Their working office also turns into a bedroom. It has everything they need, including a washer and dryer.  

This lifestyle is all about leading a simple life, focusing on what’s important, spending less money on living expenses and saving for a rainy day.  Without question, both Waire and Mejia are benefitting from this growing tiny house movement.