About POD the People

“Tiny home” villages in Oregon are well-known as an unparalleled option for housing People who are homeless; however, equally well-known is the opposition in some neighborhoods to the siting of these communities. What if we could broaden the opportunities for safe and inexpensive shelter while alleviating local tensions? Might it even be possible to equitably distribute the benefits and costs to different areas of a city over time?

Our intent is to answer these questions by developing an “over-the-grid” community of zoning ninjas inhabiting a new type of mobile home: the Portable Opportunity Dwelling.

A Portable Opportunity Dwelling (POD) is a mobile home, vehicle, craft, or vessel, or a combination of mobile homes, vehicles, crafts, or vessels that is: (a) equipped with safe sleeping and sanitary facilities, (b) transportable without an operator license or insurance, and (c) small enough to fit in a standard vehicle parking, docking, or storage space.

The Portable Opportunity Dwelling not only promises to enhance the security, health, and wellness of homeless residents. By enabling People to move their own shelters freely between multiple locations–including safe waste disposal sites–the local blight and dreaded “sweeps” of unsanctioned tent cities could entirely disappear.

Currently, we are working on a POD prototype based on a three-wheeled electric motorhome that qualifies under 15 U.S. Code Section 2085 and Oregon Revised Statutes 801.258 as a “low-speed electric bicycle,” and which can be lawfully operated without a driver’s license or liability insurance in 29 states. Constructed by volunteers in a collaborative partnership program, and without the typical barriers to ownership and relocation, the Portable Opportunity Dwelling will be instrumental to fulfilling the purpose of POD the People: to empower the poor by making mobile micro-housing available to all.

Please join us!