Example of three houses in the Beloved Community Village

Beloved Community Village

In response to Denver’s housing crisis, Radian partnered with the Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) and people experiencing homelessness to advance and scale creative approaches to housing. Beloved Community Village (BCV) was implemented in July 2017 to temporarily house people in transition as a stepping-stone towards permanent affordable housing. The Village consists of 19 (8’x15’) units, a shared bathhouse, and a community space for meals and events. Radian designed the village to be responsive to the power, sanitary, and freshwater needs and rights of the residents. The structures were designed to be easily deployable and transportable, while also standing up to the necessary building code requirements. The Village encourages community living, communal support, and collective responsibility while bridging the gap between the streets and stable housing.

Cause

Why tiny homes? Quick to build; size efficiency; attainably priced; community centric, and environmentally friendly. With these factors in mind, the Village was designed in response to the growing housing crisis in Denver. On any given night, there are 6,104 people experiencing homelessness. The city is short more than 86,000 units of affordable housing, while at least 3.23 million taxpayer dollars were spent criminalizing homelessness from 2010 to 2014. Additionally, the current shelter system does not adequately accommodate couples, LGBTQ people, people with pets, people with disabilities, or people with job

Method

Radian and CVC held design meetings with occupants to understand use and needs to incorporate in the design, such as added storage space for belongings and access to shared bathrooms. An Advisory Council was created in May 2019 through engagement with the community of Globeville and is responsible for ensuring the shared governance model at the Village complies with items in the Good Neighbor Agreement. The council includes members of local and regional neighborhood organizations, Village residents, and staff.

Impact

The Village has had 42 unique individuals enter the tiny home community. There have been 24 individuals who have exited from the program. From those exits, 16 (66%) have graduated and moved from the streets into stable situations. Highlights from a 2019 independent study on the ongoing impacts of the Village reported: lower levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness and higher levels of happiness and satisfaction when compared to people experiencing homelessness who did not live in the Village; stable housing outcomes within 12 months after leaving the Village; an increase in employment (Villagers were four-times more likely to be working compared to people in the control group who reported being unhoused); among others.