Tiny houses the big focus of one South Bend neighborhood

A meeting Sunday presented plans for a tiny house community in South Bend.//Hilary Powell WSBT 22.

A future field of tiny dreams.

"I don't want to live in an apartment, but I want that size and I want that independence,” says Mike Keen of Thrive Michiana.

A plot of land in South Bend's Near Northwest community may not look large, but developers say it’s enough to fit about a dozen homes in a planned Tiny Living Community.

“What we're finding is both millennials and empty-nesters would like to spend less time and less money taking care of their houses and have more time and more money to experience a richer life,” Keen says.

He says homeowners would pay between $45,000 to $75,000 dollars for their pint-sized property. The homes, ranging in size from 250 to 400 square feet, will have permanent foundations and energy-efficient walls and appliances.

The homes envisioned for a lot on the Near Northwest side of South Bend would be net zero, meaning using the sun, they'd produce as much energy as they use."

"...people spend their entire lives doing what?” Keen asks “Just trying to pay for and maintain their home. There's a group of people who say, 'You know what? We don't want that life.'”

A meeting with neighbors Sunday saw people old and really young get a peek at the compact housing potential. St. Joseph County Circuit Judge John Broden says he can see a big demand for something so small.

"If you're either an older adult or perhaps a young person just starting out, it might allow you to sort of have that starter home,” he says.

Organizers hope to break ground in about a year.

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