AMARILLO – It’s approved, now it’s time to break ground and build.
The Amarillo City Council passed an ordinance allowing the creation of tiny houses for the homeless.
It has been a goal for members of Yellow City Community Outreach since 2016 and now they say it is a dream fulfilled.
North Rusk Street and Northwest 3rd Avenue is where you will start seeing the construction and use of the four tiny houses, but that number is just the beginning.
“You’re getting ready to work on a tiny home solution,” said a speaker during public comments.
That solution was approved Tuesday night as part of the council’s consent agenda.
“Homelessness has really been on the mind of city government for some time,” said Dan Ferguson, President of Yellow City Community Outreach.
It’s also been on Ferguson’s mind and the folks at Yellow City Community Outreach. They saw a problem and brought a solution for the city.
“They came to us with an idea and said, ‘what are the tools and what’s the process that we need to get from start to finish,’ and so we’ve helped walk them through that process using this tool for our zoning ordinance,” said Director of the Amarillo Planning and Zoning Director AJ Fawver.
Now, these yellow homes will help brighten a Potter County neighborhood and the future of those who reside within its walls.
“That is us, the “meet them in the streets guys”. That’s what we will be using the tiny houses for. As we build self-worth and self-esteem, just by the mere act of putting them in a tiny house, instantly builds their self-esteem, their self-worth. They think they’re a valuable part of this society we call Amarillo, Texas,” said Ferguson.
We are told this change of a city zoning ordinance may not be the last.
“Any ordinance can be approved or modified through two readings with the city council, and this particular instance we’re are looking at a site, an idea that hasn’t been tried before, so this will be interesting to watch and see if that leads to other changes that need to happen,” Fawver said.
Once they start housing people, Ferguson told us they will go through a 40-day program, and during that time, they plan to address their needs and connect them to other area resources.
The date of the groundbreaking is not set yet.
Ferguson said with all the proper permits in place, their power pole, and water system up and running, they’ll be ready to start.
The homes will house one to two people: either a couple or two of the same sex.
Once they get more land and more homes, they plan to have tiny houses for families with kids as well.