TinyFest Midwest Gives Iowa a Close-up look at Tiny Houses

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Colfax, Iowa- This weekend the Jasper County Fairgrounds will host a different kind of event. TinyFest Midwest is a display of 20 some tiny homes.

“I live in a tiny house myself I have been to these festivals across the country,” said McLaughlin. “I really enjoyed them, love the information that is shared and the camaraderie, and I thought we needed one here in the Midwest and see what this tiny house movement is all about.”

Living Tiny may not be for everyone, but there are reasons why someone would want to downsize to this type of dwelling.

“A lot of people want to get rid of the stuff that they have and focus more on the people and experiences, rather than all the items and the things that are tying them to their house,” said McLaughlin. “There are so many reasons to go tiny and everyone has their own, sometimes it's financial some people want to have a smaller carbon footprint, some people want to be more mobile and keep their equity in their house rather than giving it up every time they sell to move.”

“I think they caught on because it addresses a lot of human needs,” said Jay Shafer, an Ames native who started the Tiny House movement, while living in Iowa City. “People are attracted to very basic house forms and this is very homey, it also meets our needs without exceeding our needs which I think is a very attractive thing.”

Share at the time was a professor at the University of Iowa. He wanted to build a very small house, and decided to put it on wheels, as a way to avoid local zoning regulations, which require a house to be much larger.

Share said his childhood in Ames may have contributed to his desire to think tiny.

“Ames Iowa where I actually lived in a very large house was in charge of the house cleaning along with my sister, so maybe that has something to do with my decision to live small.”

TinyFest Midwest runs Saturday and Sunday. There is an admission charge. Click here for their website.



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