Downsizing and moving into tiny homes has gained popularity in the past few years and Chapel Hill is turning that trend into a service project with a tiny home duplex coming to the Northside Neighborhood.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger says the tiny home duplex will house individuals or couples that have graduated out of the homeless shelter program.

“These are two three hundred square-foot homes, it’s a joint collaboration, it’s really, really wonderful, the Jackson Center, Habitat [for Humanity], Self-Help Credit Union and they’re meant to help people who are coming through our shelter program have somewhere to stay and live in the community,” said Hemminger.

Each home will have a studio style layout, with one main room serving as the bedroom, living room and kitchen, a bathroom and a porch.

The project is a part of the Northside Neighborhood Initiative, an effort that pursues a shared vision for preserving Northside Neighborhood as a family-friendly, diverse, and multi-generational community.

The 650 square-foot duplex on Craig Street is being built by Pee Wee Homes, a local tiny home building company dedicated to bringing affordable housing opportunities to Orange County.

Hemminger said she thinks there are lots of different opportunities for tiny house projects outside of the shelter program and has even been approached by seniors who have expressed interest in the tiny home lifestyle.

“We’re looking at ways to increase this kind of model, there are some state code building guidelines we are trying to work with and I’m meeting with a group the week after the election to see what kind of things we need to do to make sure we’re not blocking anything like this,” said Hemminger.

Pee Wee Homes is also working on another future tiny home site on the 15-acre campus of The Epicostal Church of the Advocate in north Chapel Hill.