DAVENPORT, Iowa — Looking out over the vacant lots of Davenport’s west side, One Eighty executive director Rusty Boruff got his next big idea.
Well, small idea.
“That’s where the idea of tiny houses came from,” Boruff said.
It’s the next step in their housing stabilization program, where graduates who want to stay close to One Eighty can live in once-abandoned homes the group has renovated.
“Sometimes you know these people are probably going to live there for the rest of their life and that’s OK, but maybe they don’t want to live with two or three other guys or two or three women the rest of their life either,” Boruff said. “To have a space to call their own … that quickly becomes home to them.”
Each home will cost between $10,000 and $15,000 to build with square footage ranging from 280 to 600 square feet.
How you can help …
“When you look at the cost, you know, literally $15,000, maybe $20,000 to change the life of someone for the rest of their life, that’s a really good investment,” Boruff said.
Each unit will be fully furnished, so when a graduate walks in they’ll feel right at home.
“It creates that independence and that pride that, ‘Hey, this is mine,’ you know?” Boruff said. “I think that’s what neighborhoods need.”
That’s why boruff thinks tiny homes could be a fresh start for the whole neighborhood.
“I work here everyday. I can’t remember the last time I actually saw something new being built,” Boruff said. “Building the Quad Cities’ … first tiny house, you know, in a location where there’s not a lot of new buildings going up, that is a win in itself.”
What’s next …
One Eighty has already started acquiring lots in Davenport’s west end so you could start seeing tiny homes pop up by next spring. The first will be in a lot behind One Eighty.
“It’s not so much about the house or the property. It’s about the life that’s going to be changed by it,” Boruff said. “It really is a pretty humbling experience.”