Our Backyard Porta-Homes


People know us for our the world's first porta potty tiny home. But there's more to Our Backyard Homes than provocative housing. Our Backyard Homes' goal is to end college student homelessness and ease the housing crisis in Los Angeles through affordable, portable micro-housing alternatives.

Affordable housing in cities like LA is disappearing. But there *is* space to ease the burden. Backyards and free plots of land for smaller, more affordable housing units. But the use of that land is restricted. The city of LA just proposed a law to allow moveable tiny houses and we are part of that conversation. With the LA Planning Commission ready to review the benefits and drawbacks of the law, more than ever we need your support to make sure our voice is heard.

Our Porta-Home is specifically designed to combat the affordable housing crisis in America's big cities. With a portable, low-footprint, and self-contained micro-dwelling, our design empowers both the resident and the landowner with an easy roll-in, roll-out housing option.

The prototype was built for Southern California--using abundance of sun for energy and maximizing exterior space for use outdoors--but it can be adapted to any climate. It has a Murphy bed with underside desk, an air-water generator that creates 10 gallons of water a day, and a gray water system that pumps up to a rooftop garden. Entirely off-grid. And yet it's cheaper, quicker, and easier than building permanently.

Why students? These young men and women trying to better their future with higher education but unable to afford rent. Where I live, 1 in 5 community college students here are homeless. 1 in 10 Cal State University students are homeless. Despite studying to better their future, many drop out due to financial instability and housing insecurity. And still enter the workforce with student debt.



To make our unit functional, we still need to install water and solar features, as well as lighting, wiring, and the gray water and rooftop garden integrated system (what is shown in video and pictures for concept display). Also, improvements for functionality, like securing the canvas covering for travel and adding increased security features. 
We need to show our home in action! I will personally live in the unit, touring it around LA (and visiting other locales nationally!) to raise awareness about moveable tiny homes. Transportation and travel costs add. up. Your support helps us keep publicizing my experiences online and at events, and take time off work to sit down with communities, landowners, and officials. 
We need to continue innovating our design of future homes to meet the needs of emerging laws and growing need. Our ultimate goal is establishing a program to house folks in these homes. That includes serving homeless college students suffering from housing insecurity, an integral part of our long-term plan. Right now we're purely volunteer-run.  Help us grow bigger.

We vow to work hard to honor your support. So thank you for contributing. Let's grow our community together!

TK Devine, Founder of Our Backyard Homes

Why a convert porta potty into a tiny home? Because like solutions for LA's housing-deprived, we're proving dignified living can be found in the most unexpected of places. My tour aims to prove that point further, showing our unit in action, not only livable but desirable, just like the future of tiny homes on wheels in our cities. For all involved.

Future homes will not be built out of porta potties, instead using designs that more closely resemble their neighborhood aesthetic. But our homes will incorporate the innovative technology that makes them perfect for the big city. We have plans for a variety of models, all of which abide by requisite tiny home standards. 

Many ask about cost. Most of the housing solutions put forth under the recently passed city and county homeless housing measures cost an average of $200,000+. We believe we can build our porta homes for a fraction of the cost. The prototype cost us in the low $20s, materials and labor. We believe our charity homes, properly scaled, can be built for half that. 

We want mobile tiny homes in cities to be legal. Not just Los Angeles--every city.

Our long-term growth includes a commercial effort to support the charity, with a 5-for-1 plan where every 5 commercial sales builds 1 scholarship home. With an eye towards scholarship homes priced below the $15k mark, this goal is well within reach.

Everyone involved is helping the community itself--meaning we all benefit. Our program will match landowners with backyards or unused or neglected residential parcels with residents facing housing insecurity--starting with college students here in LA. All participants are vetted and matches go through a series of steps to ensure qualification and compatibility. 

Interested in partnering with or sponsoring Our Backyard Homes? Send us a private message or visit us at www.ourbackyardhomes.org . Thank you!


TK Devine
Los Angeles, CA

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