Good life at tiny homes commune
A community of people living in homes on wheels are embracing the simple life, hidden away in a northwest Auckland commune.
Shane Simpson, along with others young and old, live in their respective tiny homes, caravans or buses on about 3 hectares of land.
Simpson said he built his tiny home from the ground up after he lost everything in a house fire four years ago.
He found himself starting from scratch in his mid-40s.
‘‘All my passions and my hobbies and my tools, all the work I was doing, everything was destroyed,’’ Simpson said.
‘‘I was left with nothing.’’
Simpson discovered tiny homes on television after believing homelessness or living in his car were his only options.
He has been living at his current address for about a year.
‘‘I love it,’’ Simpson said.
‘‘Losing all of the material items in the fire – now life is simple.’’
Around Christmas last year, he floated the idea of creating a tiny house community with his landlord and people started moving in.
Simpson said he wanted to create a ‘‘safe haven’’ for those living there.
‘‘We prefer to call it a club,’’ he said. ‘‘TLC. Everyone needs a little tender loving care in their life and [it also stands for] tiny living club.’’
Simpson has created gardens, a firepit and has converted a garage into a communal hall where everyone pitches in to help.
He is also growing vegetables that will be for all residents to enjoy.
Simpson said he spent just 30 minutes a week cleaning, spent more time outside being creative and was more self-sufficient.
Bills were no longer as high as they once were.
But the community aspect was the ‘‘beauty of it’’, Simpson said.
Suburbs had lost the feel of community, he added.
Fences went up and people didn’t bother to talk to their neighbours.
‘‘Support is huge in this.’’
Everyone was safe and looked out for one another, he said.
Simpson requested the commune’s address remain secret, to retain the community’s privacy.
The community has room for about 11 homes and life off the grid is preferred.
Another tiny home resident, who Stuff agreed not to name, was living at the property with his two young daughters following a separation.
Apart from the commute to work, the lifestyle was ‘‘bliss’’.
He said it was a peaceful way to live and getting rid of his material items and downgrading had been a pleasure.