A church in Southern Nashville plans to create a small village filled with tiny houses for the homeless population. This week, they won financial support from the Tennessee Court of Appeals. A legal battle had been going on for over two years, so this is a big success for the church and homeless advocacy organization.
The village of tiny houses
A total of 22 houses are planned to be built on Glencliff United Methodist Church’s six acre property. The tiny houses will come in two different sizes, 200 and 400 square feet.
“Helping the poor, housing the homeless, and feeding the hungry is an important component of the Methodist Church,” said Lisa M. Carson, attorney for Open Table and the church. A goal of the church for the longest time has been to help the homeless as best as they can. They hoped to do the ultimate good deed by creating this village.
Private sponsors have also made donations to the church to make this project possible.
Though not much work has been done on the village, there’s hopes that more work can begin soon.
“I’m certainly hopeful that we’ll be able to move this forward now. To work with people who are really trying to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world is certainly a rewarding experience.” said Carson.
Once the Glencliff Urban Village is complete, residents in the village will be prohibited from inviting in guests of any kind. They’ll also be prohibited from using drugs and alcohol. There will be service workers assigned to each person, and to ensure safety there will be patrols at night.
The battle continues
Though the church and organization had just won the legal battle stretching across two years, it may not be over yet. Neighbors and other citizens in the area plan to advance the case to the state’s Supreme Court.
The neighbors claim that the village will cause safety and security issues, despite the security patrols that would be happening nightly. On top of that, they argue that the church should have to conform to zoning rules.
The group against the church’s plans consists of about 20 or so people who happen to be neighbors. They say that it’s unfair for the church to be able to build and not have zoning rules apply to them.
The Metro Board of Zoning Appeals, Davidson County Chancery Court, and now the state appellate court have overruled their arguments.
The attorney for the neighbors called this decision a disappointment.
“We’re not asking the church not to minister to homeless people or house homeless people. We just say the design has to be in accordance with planning and zoning rules.” said Marshall Albritton, the attorney.