HabiJax rental development brings tiny house community to Jacksonville

Nathan Law

It probably won’t end up in any textbooks, but HabiJax’s new Westside building project is giving Jacksonville its first idea of what a tiny house subdivision could look like. The 50-home development on just 5.7 acres near Lane Avenue is the city’s first example of houses mostly measuring less than 500 […]

It probably won’t end up in any textbooks, but HabiJax’s new Westside building project is giving Jacksonville its first idea of what a tiny house subdivision could look like.

The 50-home development on just 5.7 acres near Lane Avenue is the city’s first example of houses mostly measuring less than 500 square feet being built as a community, not oddball novelties.

‘’We’re going to learn a lot from this one,” said Monte Walker, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, the housing nonprofit commonly called HabiJax.

The development at Wiley Road and Navaho Avenue was launched last year with a $5.5 million grant from philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver through the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Twenty-nine homes are under construction so far and the rest could be completed by late summer, Walker said.

Framers and electricians were busy  working on the new HabiJax  tiny  house community being built off Wiley Road on Jacksonville's Westside. project off Wiley Road on Jacksonville's Westside. The project is a 50-unit development with each house being roughly 500 square foot with one bedroom and one bathroom.

They’re being built as rental properties, which is unusual for HabiJax but will let the nonprofit offer housing to people who don’t want long-term commitments but need a home they can afford.

Social service organizations will be referring potential tenants to the development, which will be managed by Jacksonville-based Ability Housing, a nonprofit that operates apartment complexes targeted to people with disabilities or a risk of homelessness.

Rents will be based on a tenant’s income, Walker said.

During a City Council zoning hearing last year, council members were told the range was expected to be $400 to $600 per month.

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