Although its future has seemed unclear lately, the tiny home village finally has a new address. On Monday, April 29, Denver City Council unanimously approved the relocation of the Beloved Community Village to a city-owned plot of land in Globeville at 4400 Pearl Street two weeks before residents must move from their current village in RiNo.
City Council's approval came despite strong criticism from residents of the north Denver area. This winter, Globeville residents pushed the city to reassess whether the proposed site on Pearl Street made the most sense for the tiny home village, which houses the formerly homeless.
"Our community, we’ve dealt with the brunt of all the displacement we’re going through; we’ve dealt with the brunt of all of the city’s development. And we’re tired," said Globeville resident Brenda Carrasco at the meeting.
But council members pushed back. "What we can’t do is address the historic inequity with exclusion," said Councilwoman Robin Kniech.
Some Globeville residents are in favor of the move. "I would welcome the new tiny home community members as vibrant and worthy Globeville neighbors," said Janice Ediger, a 35-year resident of the area.
On its new plot of land, the Beloved Community Village will expand to twenty sleeping units. Eleven of the current residents of the village are either employed or in school, while one other is on disability. Five past residents of the village have transitioned to permanent housing.
The agreement for the Globeville plot between the city and Colorado Village Collaborative, the nonprofit that created the village, will last for one year, with a maximum of two renewals. At the end of three years, the village will relocate again, unless another resolution comes before City Council.
Opponents of the move have rejected a good neighbor agreement that would have required criminal background checks for residents and banned sex-offenders from becoming tenants of the village. They say accepting one would be a step toward accommodating the village. But a University of Denver study showed that the tiny home village in its current location has had a neutral or positive impact on the neighborhood and hasn't led to an uptick in crime.
Cole Chandler, who serves as the head of Colorado Village Collaborative, will abide by the stipulations of the good neighbor agreement, even if neighborhood organizations in Globeville won't sign the contract. Chandler said during the City Council meeting that he plans on hosting monthly meetings to bring together village residents and their Globeville neighbors.
In summer 2018, the Colorado Village Collaborative found a new location on land owned by Zeppelin Development just across the South Platte River. However, that October, the city determined that the site was too risky due to flood concerns, and stepped in to help the Colorado Village Collaborative find a new site.
The city is working to update the zoning code by the fall so that zoning classifications become more flexible for group living situations, like tiny home villages.