Council on Aging of West Florida has successfully housed agency client Beverly Monroe in a 128-square-foot tiny home unit as part of a project funded by a $50,000 AARP Community Challenge Grant. The project, which began last June, has purchased two tiny homes and aims to have both units outfitted and occupied by an older adult experiencing housing insecurity by this spring.
The homes are manufactured by the Tennessee-based company Incredible Tiny Homes and the project utilizes their innovative and highly customizable 8 by 16-foot Incred-I-Box model, which cost $20,000 each. Pensacola Habitat and the Pensacola State College carpentry program have partnered on the project and supported efforts to get the units move-in ready. Monroe has been living in her Incred-I-box for just over a week.
“Seeing Beverly go from a housing emergency to settling into a home of her own has been so rewarding, but it highlights the fact that there are many others like Beverly in our community who are facing eviction or are experiencing homelessness,” says Council on Aging marketing communications director Emily Echevarria, who spearheads the project. “With the appropriate implementation and buy-in from local leaders, this type of unit can be part of a multifaceted approach to tackling the monumental problem of affordable housing for seniors in our community.”
The project aims to showcase the possibilities of one nontraditional, attainable housing solution that is affordable to lower-income older adults, many of whom live on a fixed income that hasn’t risen with the level of inflation and rental price increases.
About the AARP Community Challenge
The AARP Community Challenge is a grant program to make tangible improvements in communities that jump-start long-term change. It is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages. The grant award was one of 260 awards out of 3,200 applications for quick action livability projects that align with community age-friendly efforts. To learn more, visit aarp.org/Livable.
About Council on Aging of West Florida
Council on Aging of West Florida is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that has served seniors and their families since 1972. Council on Aging of West Florida helps seniors in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties live healthy, safe and independent lives in their own familiar surroundings by providing community-based, in-home programs and services such as Meals on Wheels and Alzheimer’s respite care.