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NEST bringing tiny house movement to Northside

Renovation work is underway at 4240 Fergus St. in Northside, which will become a Kinda Tiny House.


Northsiders Engaged in Sustainable Transformation has been renovating and building houses for years. On Sept. 25 — the same day as the Northside House Tour — the organization is hosting a kick-off party for its Kinda Tiny Houses development project.
 
Unlike the tiny house trend that’s sweeping the nation and setting up camp in Over-the-Rhine, Kinda Tiny Houses will be a bit larger, anywhere from 600-1,000 square feet. And NEST is focusing on abandoned houses that already exist in Northside, and renovating those properties to reflect the concept.
 
“When it comes to these rehabs, we’re taking advantage of an existing resource and creating a greater resource for the community,” says Stefanie Sunderland, founder of NEST.
 
NEST plans to renovate eight houses and build one new house into Kinda Tiny Houses, but there are potential plans for two more new builds. Four houses are already underway at 4222, 4238 and 4240 Fergus St., and the new build at 4205 Mad Anthony, which is on the corner of Chase and Fergus streets. The other five properties are scattered throughout Northside.
 
“These houses will all have smaller carbon footprints, and will tie into the existing infrastructure in the neighborhood,” Sunderland says. “I feel it’s also an environmental and sustainable design.”
 
All of the Kinda Tiny Houses will be visitable, or accessible for everyone. The majority of the houses are single-story, but a few of the larger homes are two-story. NEST wants to make all of the living quarters on the first floors of the homes because much of Northside’s housing stock predates indoor plumbing. When plumbing was added, only half-bathrooms were added on the first floor and you have to go up a flight of stairs to reach the full bathroom.

Floorplans for the nine planned Kinda Tiny Houses in Northside.
 
Architect Alice Emmons designed the Kinda Tiny Houses to help people age in place, as well as for Baby Boomers who are looking to downsize and Millenials who want to move into a less expensive, functional home. All of the houses are homeownership units as opposed to rental properties, and will be more affordable options when they hit the market in the next 6-9 months.
 
The project is made possible through a grant from BB&T Bank that helped NEST develop the prototype. The City of Cincinnati is providing NOFA gap funding, and Northside Bank & Trust financed a construction allowance.
 
The Kinda Tiny Houses Initiative with Kinda Tiny Bites party will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 25 at Urban Artifact. Attendees are encouraged to go on the Northside House Tour and then swing by for light bites, music and beer. The party will include a chance to view designs of the Kinda Tiny Houses, as well as the undergoing rehabilitation on Fergus Street. The party is free, but a suggested donation of $10 is welcome.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
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