ARLINGTON, Va.— On Friday, the Georgia Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit challenging the city of Calhoun’s ban on building tiny homes to move forward. Tiny House Hand Up (THHU) is a Calhoun nonprofit that wants to use donated land to fill a niche for smaller, less costly homes, but Calhoun won’t allow them to because the homes are smaller than the government wants. In 2021, THHU joined with the Institute for Justice to challenge Calhoun’s arbitrary restriction for violating the Georgia Constitution.
Homeownership is financially unfeasible for too many in Calhoun, with a poverty rate more than twice the national average. A few years ago, a grassroots group of local residents grew tired of talking about the problem and decided to act. They formed THHU to fill an unmet need in the housing market. The Georgia nonprofit is ready to break ground on the “Cottages at King Corner,” a community of beautiful, Southern-style cottages with 540 to 600 square feet of living space each. They have housing plans, support from a financial institution to help finance mortgages, and contractors at the ready. All they need is for the government to get out of the way.
“I’m happy that we can now focus on the important constitutional rights at stake in this case,” said IJ Attorney Joe Gay. “We look forward to showing that Calhoun’s ban on smaller homes violates the Georgia Constitution. It shouldn’t be illegal to build a small house.”