Housing crisis

Are tiny homes the answer to the affordable housing crisis?

TAMPA, Fla. — Mathis McGriff, 64, joined the Navy in 1976 and remembers traveling the world.

“Mainly Europe, Spain, Portugal, Africa, France,” he named the places where he was deployed.

The Sulfur Springs native has fallen on hard times and now lives in a men’s shelter in East Tampa.

“Better than living on the street or on a sidewalk,” he said.

Mathis is also blind in one eye.

“I have glaucoma and it’s been going on for about 5-6 years now,” McGriff said.

His eyesight is deteriorating, making his need for permanent housing more urgent.

“You go to different places and you start hitting a wall and you don’t know where you’re going,” he said.

He is on a waiting list for the Tiny Home Village for Veterans Events.

The $500,000 project is the brainchild of Dr. Mark Jones Sr., founder of Manifestations Worldwide Inc.

The City of Tampa has approved the rezoning of this East Lake Avenue property to pave the way for 10 small homes.

Once built, the rent for these tiny houses would be around $900.

There were delays in the build process, but because of the same supply chain issues we all faced.

According to Dr. Jones, the demand for affordable housing should inspire other organizations to consider this model.

“We don’t need to profit from these kinds of projects,” he said. “We just need growth to pay for itself. We just need affordable housing projects so we can meet needs and also create comprehensive services, especially for our veterans.”