Pilot program puts homeless in residents' backyards

Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 17:24:52-04

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A pilot program in Portland, Oregon will put homeless families in little modular homes built in the backyards of willing homeowners.

In exchange, the homeowners will own the fully plumbed tiny houses after a five-year lease and can rent them out.

The idea will start with just four units but Multnomah County officials hope to expand.

It's believed to be the first project nationally to join homeowners with the homeless.

It's a way for Portland to bridge a gap while affordable housing is constructed in a city where nearly 1,900 people sleep outside each night.

County housing officials say 200 homeowners have signed up to learn more after the pilot was made public.

A critical housing shortage has led officials to experiment with sleeping pods and "tiny house" villages.