Rock Hill Realtor, Attorney fight for right to tiny, affordable homes

A local realtor and an attorney have started a petition for Rock Hill's City Council to change their zoning laws so residents can live in tiny homes.

ROCK HILL, S.C. - A local realtor and an attorney have started a petition for Rock Hill's City Council to change their zoning laws so residents can live in tiny homes.

Right now the zoning law prevents residents from living in homes smaller than 850 square feet.  Tiny homes range in size from 128 to 450 square feet. There's space for two beds, a kitchen, laundry room and bathroom.

Attorney Dale Dove and Fort Mill realtor Jessica Buchwald, have convinced about 300 people to sign a petition asking the city to change the zoning laws.

After 1,000 signatures, they plan on taking the petition to the mayor.

“Families that make $20 or less an hour deserve to have the pride of homeownership,” said Jessica Buchwald.

She’s been a realtor since October, and said people on a fixed income struggle to find affordable housing. "We would like to take some of these lots available in Rock Hill and put tiny subdivisions on them. “

Attorney Dale Dove agrees.

"The housing prices were depressed and started going up, and the people that used to afford those places to stay can no longer do so,” said Dove.

Dove helps build the tiny homes. “City hall has heard my voice for the past three years on this topic but I cannot get them to change for their mind."

NBC Charlotte’s Billie Jean Shaw reached out to city officials about the petition. In a statement, Mayor Doug Echols said:

“I appreciate the interest our citizens are taking in the need for affordable housing in our community. City staff are currently exploring options for more flexibility to allow smaller housing sizes, while still meeting state requirements and protecting the quality of existing neighborhoods. Any proposed changes to the code would follow a public process, allowing residents to provide input for or against. Organizations like the Catawba Area Coalition for the Homeless (CACH) and the Housing Development Corporation of Rock Hill have made significant strides toward offering affordable housing options. It’s my hope that we can expand opportunities for those in need, while ensuring that housing is safe and sustainable.”

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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