Good life at tiny homes com­mune

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.