Many of us grew up in the U.S. with the expectation that, if we studied and worked hard, we too could realize the “American Dream”… owning a large home, getting a new car every few years, raising a couple of kids and putting them through college, and doing it all with an enjoyable, “lifetime” job that paid a decent living wage plus benefits. Fast forward to 2015 with millions of unemployed and underemployed people, many of whom are past their prime working years, unable to afford to rent, let alone buy, even modest housing. Starting around the turn of the century, tiny homes have gained increasing popularity around the globe as people have become more concerned about skyrocketing costs of living and about the negative impacts of their environmental footprints.
Australian filmmaker Jeremy Beasley spent two years documenting the tiny house movement in Portland, Oregon for his film, “Small is Beautiful.” In it he documents the lives of four people as they adjust to new lifestyle paradigms. Although tiny homes average only about 186 square feet in size, their average cost is only about $23,000…a fraction of the typical suburban residence.