“Tiny House” movement inspires affordable housing collaboration between local charities

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JOPLIN, Mo.–A groundbreaking on Tuesday marks the start of a new micro-housing project in Joplin.

A familiar concept with a twist – charities building affordable housing. It starts with a collaboration called “JUMP,” which stands for Joplin United Micro-Housing Partnership.

“I think it’s vital,” explained Stephanie Howard with One Joplin. “I don’t think these type of projects can actually happen unless you bring everybody together.”

Four local groups are working together to building micro-housing.

“There’s a tiny house movement around the country, “added Scott Decker with Catholic Charities. “And this is maybe a step above that. And then structurally, a lot more sound.”

Catholic Charities, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity, the Joplin Area Fuller Center for Housing and One Joplin are collaborating on two rental duplexes. They’ll be built with insulated concrete forms, meaning concrete walls for lower utility bills and protection in a storm.

The unique project attracted $88,000 in funding from the Missouri Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“I like that it was innovative,” Reverend Tina L. Harris explained. “I like that they’re working with other partners and I like that they had really done all of their work, vetted the project, vetted what is the best way to do something to move their initiatives forward.”

One Joplin points out the key is working together on the project.

“Everybody has their own strengths and their own resources and if we put them all together, what can we not do? It’s a miracle, it’ll be a miracle,” said Howard.

It is micro-housing, so it’s likely there will between 500 and 900 square feet per housing unit. Work is expected to start in the next few weeks.

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