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Chandler Boulevard Tiny Homes Village, Los Angeles, California

 An aerial photograph of a brightly painted tiny home village surrounded by a white chain-link fence and white-painted highway barriers.
 Photograph of a corrugated metal trailer, taken through an opening in a red chain-link fence.
Photograph of a red-painted security kiosk with a guard inside.
Photo of people gathered at an area with red outdoor tables with red umbrellas with colorful tiny homes in the background.
Aerial photo of a group of tiny homes, a cluster of red outdoor tables, and a fenced area for dogs.
A woman sitting in front of a decorated tiny home.
A photograph of a red tiny home with the door open, revealing a white interior with a person in a hardhat and safety vest walking across the front.
Aerial photograph of the Chandler Boulevard Tiny Home Village against the backdrop of the North Hollywood neighborhood.


Home > Case Studies > Chandler Boulevard Tiny Homes Village, Los Angeles, California


Chandler Boulevard Tiny Homes Village, Los Angeles, California


Los Angeles Pilots Tiny Homes for Transitional Housing

The city of Los Angeles represents less than 10 percent of California’s population, but it accounts for 28 percent of the state’s unsheltered population. The city and county have deployed a broad array of programs and projects to address homelessness. One initiative involved building a series of 11 carefully planned interim housing developments composed of small factory-built dwellings with supportive services. The prototype development for this was the Chandler Boulevard Tiny Home Village, a 39-unit transitional housing development for formerly homeless individuals and couples. The village, which opened in February 2021, was awarded the American Institute of Architects’ 2022 Housing Award in the Specialized Housing category for, among other things, offering "smart, affordable, safe, and simple homes in a respectful way."

Homelessness Roadmap

In June 2020, the city of Los Angeles adopted its COVID-19 Homelessness Roadmap, a plan to provide thousands of new transitional housing beds with accompanying services to unsheltered Angelinos. The Roadmap was an interim measure adopted to address the acute situation of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the previous 2019 Point-in-Time survey, 35,550 people in the city of Los Angeles were experiencing homelessness, nearly 75 percent of whom were unsheltered. The Roadmap, arising from an agreement between the city and county of Los Angeles, established an ambitious goal of 6,700 new homelessness interventions in 18 months. The city agreed to build 6,000 new beds and accelerate the construction of 700 more it was already committed to, and the county agreed to pay the city up to $300 million over 5 years to fund one-half of the required supportive services. The Chandler Boulevard tiny homes village was part of these efforts.

Transitional Housing Village

The tiny home village was built on a city-owned, underutilized, and irregularly shaped parcel located between the eastbound lanes of Chandler Boulevard and the G Line Busway in the city’s North Hollywood neighborhood. The $4.9 million village has brightly painted tiny houses and amenity trailers arranged in three rows around a cluster of red tables and umbrellas. Bold blocks of paint extending from the structures to the asphalt help dissipate heat and create a sense of place. As a result, the site resembles a giant game board.

The city began site preparation in October 2020, grading the site, repairing the asphalt, and making improvements to utilities. This work involved extending an existing sewer line approximately 600 feet — one of the most expensive elements of the project. The city selected Lehrer Architects LA to design the village and public benefit corporation Pallet to provide the 39 housing units. The tiny, factory-built dwellings are shipped to the site on pallets and assembled on-location, mounted on specially designed no-dig foundations. Each unit cost $7,500. General contractor Ford E.C. assembled the tiny homes, and, according to Mary Nemick, director of communications for the city’s Bureau of Engineering, each unit took about 1 hour to assemble.

The units measure 8 by 8 feet and feature a door and small step, four windows, a peaked roof, eaves, and external lighting. Units are painted in a bright monochrome white, blue, red, or yellow — like the painted asphalt, the idea behind the bright colors is to give the village a less institutional feel. Each dwelling is equipped with a lock on the door, shelves for storing personal possessions, three outlets for charging phones and other devices, a heater, and an air conditioner. In addition, the units have standard safety devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a separate egress door in the event of an emergency. Though modest, the units provide a space where residents can socially distance or quarantine as needed, seek refuge from hot or cold weather, have privacy, and secure their belongings.

Thirty-seven units are outfitted with two beds and are intended for occupancy by couples or parent-child pairs. An additional two units are accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act and have only one bed to permit space for a wheelchair, giving the village a total capacity of 76 people. Eligible tenants are individuals experiencing homelessness who reside within a few miles of the Chandler Boulevard site, as verified by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Wraparound Services

Local faith-based nonprofit Hope the Mission provides wraparound services for residents at their onsite office. These include help with obtaining necessary documents and accessing city services, case management, mental health services, job training and placement, and assistance in locating permanent housing.

Hope the Mission also provides meals that are prepared offsite and served at the outdoor seating area in the center of the development. The dining area is next to a fenced dog park where residents can exercise their pets — pets that can remain with them, which is not always possible in traditional shelter settings. Communal amenities and services including offices for Hope the Mission’s staff, toilets, sinks, showers, and laundry facilities are housed in large, corrugated metal trailers resembling brightly colored shipping containers. The village also offers bicycle racks, lockers and 24-hour security to safeguard residents and their possessions. The bank of lockers, placed outside of the development next to the entrance, allows residents to secure items that are not permitted in the village.

Although village residents do not pay rent, they are expected to work toward their goal of achieving permanent housing during their 90-day stay. Hope the Mission staff can grant 90-day residency extensions to tenants who are making progress toward this goal.

The First of Many

The city completed its obligations under the COVID-19 Homelessness Roadmap by December 2021, constructing 6,700 units of transitional housing, including 1,300 units in 10 tiny homes villages. In March 2023 an eleventh tiny home village opened. As a prototype for future similar developments, the Chandler Boulevard Tiny Homes Village demonstrated that transitional housing could be developed quickly on city owned property and co-exist with adjoining residential neighborhoods. The creative, non-institutional design features that were applauded by the AIA award jury also set a standard for the other villages that were to follow.



The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.