Maine could benefit from more initiatives like the Downeast Tiny House Project, a collaborative effort among nonprofit organizations and a technical high school located in Massachusetts to build a 560-square foot home – fueled only with a woodstove and ductless heat pump – for a disabled veteran in Milbridge. Photo courtesy of Downeast Community Partners.
Cottage Industry: Small wood homes yield big climate benefits
Maine could get a large economic boost and provide critically needed housing by manufacturing compact, highly efficient homes.
BY MARINA SCHAUFFLER | SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
A single small home, lifted onto a foundation in Milbridge last month, could signal big housing changes ahead. Confronted with scant affordable housing and mandates to reduce carbon pollution, Maine needs to re-envision how home construction happens – from the constituent elements and the building process to the carbon emissions produced.
A draft strategy proposed by the Maine Climate Council’s buildings, infrastructure and housing working group recommends…highly efficient homes built primarily with wood that generate as much electricity as they use (for appliances, heating and cooling) through solar power – either rooftop panels or participation in a community solar farm.
The innovative spirit needed to navigate this housing transition is embodied in the “Downeast Maine Tiny House” recently transported to Milbridge from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough, Mass., where students customized the building for a disabled veteran.
MILBRIDGE, ME — This lull lift was such a great donation. Once the tiny house was delivered and placed, WK Construction & Sons lull lift donation saved Bill Italiano and all the crews so much work getting the overhangs and roofing complete. Trey Shaw from WK Construction & Sons was a life saver.
WK Construction & Sons’ lull lift also enabled volunteers in 2018 to complete the final phase of Maine Seacoast Mission’s Weald Bethel Community Center on time.
Visit Downeast Maine Tiny House Blog.
L-to-R: DCP Development Associate Megan R. Hayes, Bobbi Harris (DCP), Mission President John Zavodny, DCP Operations Manager Dale Basher, and Scott Shaw (Mission)
MILBRIDGE, ME — On a misty Monday morning, August 3, a tall yellow crane is suspending a new tiny house in mid-air while carpenters guide the building onto its cement foundation. Four years ago this tiny house was an idea sketched on a paper napkin. The idea grew, and attracted support from four partner organizations, several sponsors, and many volunteers.
Partner organizations Downeast Community Partners (DCP) and Maine Seacoast Mission were already working together — with volunteers — through the Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program to make homes in Downeast Maine safe and warm through home repairs and home insulating.
Neither DCP nor the Mission had ever tackled a tiny house. But perhaps tiny houses could serve as a new way to provide safe, warm housing to the elderly, low-income individuals and families, and military Veterans?
Word reached Mission Housing Rehab Program Manager Scott Shaw that a Washington County disabled military Veteran named Ryan needed a place to live. Ryan’s situation was a perfect reason to build a tiny house.
Full story, videos, and photos at Downeast Maine Tiny House Project’s Blog.
It’s Thank you Thursday and today’s shout out of Mission Love goes to Downeast Community Partners (DCP).
DCP was created in 2017 with the merger of two organizations: Washington Hancock Community Agency and Child and Family Opportunities. With headquarters in Ellsworth and Machias, the new DCP was, and is, designed to improve the quality of life and reduce the impact of poverty in Downeast communities.
For years DCP and the Mission have partnered to keep families and individuals in Washington and parts of Hancock County in safe, warm homes. Each year, area residents can apply for a housing repair assist.
In brief, the Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program, with its talented, hardworking volunteers, puts homes into shape — trailer skirting, roofing, building decks, scraping and painting, and other repair work. DCP then completes the work with its weatherization program: insulation, thermal windows, new doors.
And Monday, August 3, DCP and the Mission were on site in Milbridge to see its latest Downeast Maine Tiny House Project — in partnership with C.F. Adams Charitable Trust and Assabet Valley Regional High School — placed on its concrete foundation.
We’re looking forward to many more years teaming up with Downeast Community Partners.
This is what community looks like.
On the web: https://www.downeastcommunitypartners.org/
MILBRIDGE, ME — August 3, 2020 was a banner day. The Downeast Tiny House was placed on its foundation. The work and love of many people paid off. Full story, photos, and video coming soon. https://www.downeastmainetinyhouseproject.com/ — in Milbridge, Maine.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Scott Shaw, Maine Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Manager, is a partner with the Downeast Maine Tiny House Project. Thank you, Scott, for this update and photo:
Check out the great post by Bob Washburn at Essex Bay Cabinetry, Georgetown, MA. He has been a volunteer with the Mission Housing Rehab Program for years. Bob has built and donated all of the kitchens in our past mobile home rehab projects.
When I asked if he and his business partner would be willing to build the kitchen for the Downeast Maine Tiny House, there was no hesitation. He just answered “Absolutely.”
Visit the Downeast Maine Tiny House Project Blog.