Omaha ‘tiny homes’ project kicks off with groundbreaking

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 12:35 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Fifty tiny homes are set to be built with the goal to provide affordable housing to people in need.

The Siena Francis House broke ground Tuesday on the construction of a tiny homes project which has been in the works for years. Planning for the project dubbed “The Cottages” began in 2018. Preparations and utility work began in 2021.

Deanna Villa has been battling homelessness for a number of years now. She says she went through a traumatic experience and day-to-day life became difficult for her.

“It’s been hard for me to transition into the world after I was assaulted. I was eventually disabled,” said Deanna Villa.

Villa has been living in apartment-based housing through Siena Francis House for the last five years. When she heard the news that tiny homes were being built on campus, she knew it was a chance at a life-changing opportunity.

“You can’t imagine, you can’t imagine, you just can’t imagine how good it’s going to be for me.”

Fifty tiny homes are set to go up near 17th and Charles streets. The homes will be designed for a single occupant, sizing up to roughly 275 square feet.

Project organizers say each home in the micro-community will have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living area, and a covered porch. The community will also have a shared laundry room.

The groundbreaking welcomed Chair of the Siena Francis House’s Board of Directors Phil Web, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, Executive Director of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority Shannon Harner, Arch Icon President Darin Smith, and Executive Director of the Siena Francis House Linda Twomey.

According to Linda Twomey, the project is a step in the right direction for people struggling to find a permanent home.

“This ‘next step’ in the Siena Francis House’s future will provide a dignified opportunity for people facing a housing crisis by expanding opportunities for those we already serve, and who are ready for more independent living,” Twomey said. “This project will also increase housing availability and opportunities for our community.”

The project is expected to be completed in March 2023.

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