Buckingham County, Virginia Welcomes Tiny Homes

In Live Legally, Virginia by Janet Thome

Advocate Melanie Copeland Forges The Way

Buckingham County, Virginia-Will it become the next mecca for tiny homes?  Yes it will !  The tiny home industry is so blessed to have an advocate like Melanie Copeland that has just closed on her land  she purchased with her husband in Buckingham County.

The best part is their tiny home that they built with their own hands,  will be classified as a dwelling.

The wheels can stay on,  they can come and go as they please if they happen to want to travel and the county even approved their  Nature’s Head Compost toilet. There is a septic system on the property, where the county requires the grey water to go into. The county only made one more request to tie the home down. The word dwelling is music to our ears in the tiny home industry-which means a permanent residence.

What’s Your Tiny Story?

Melanie contacted the Tiny Home Industry Association, ( THIA ),  because a friend had shown her an article that I had written titled Jurisdictions Allowing Moveable Tiny Homes and she knew we would be excited about the news. Melanie and I immediately became kindred spirits and talked for hours regarding her long, arduous journey of trying to find a legal place to live. We patiently waited to break the story on THIA, the day they closed on their land and was THIA’s first official What’s Your Tiny Story?  We want to document the beautiful stories of how people made tiny living possible as a testament  to others that it can be done.


Affordable Housing: A Crisis  Every City

We are making progress in our search for permissible and permanent living for tiny homes  which is crucial, because affordable housing is a crisis in every major city. We love  these success stories. Just yesterday, I donated to Facing Homelessness, a non profit, founded by Rex Hohlbein in Seattle that has started the Block Project where they are putting tiny homes as ADUs in the backyards of Seattle homes. Rex, a Seattle  architect started a Facebook page that features a homeless person in a black and white photo and asks for something the person might need. It could be as simple as paint brushes or a tent or I have seen a request to pay for someone’s rent for a year. Every time, the need is met and surpasses the request.

A woman named Jeannie was featured yesterday with tears rolling down her sweet face, with absolutely no place to go. She had a cascade of unfortunate events, including massive health problems, the death of her mother, the loss of her home, almost being dragged into the bushes and robbed and she was sitting in this U-Haul that she owed money to and she was at the end of her rope. Rex asked for $750.00 to pay for a hotel stay for a week to figure out the next steps to help her. In 12 hours, over $8300.00 was donated by less than 300 people and they pulled the pay pal link. This speaks of the humanity I know we are-lending a hand to others in need. I went to sleep with Jeannie’s face on my mind last night, knowing that her heart, maybe for the first time in many years could rest, nurtured by the love of complete  strangers. One lady gave only $5.00 and she apologized, but everyone praised her, because to her, it might as well been a $100.00. Just had to stop and share that story.

Back to Melanie’s story………

Their Mortgage $70.00 A Month

I told a friend of mine that her mortgage will be only $70.00 a month. He laughed and said” that is my bar bill a month” Can you imagine, they have a home that is paid for and two incomes will have to share the mortgage burden ( wink wink ) of $35.00 a month each.

Melanie Copeland, Tiny Home Dweller And Advocate


What I love about Melanie, is that she has a giving heart and even though they have found their legal place and they can rest, she will still continue to forge the way  for others in Buckingham County and she has a group that has found 17 more legal places in Virginia that will accept tiny homes. You can join her Facebook page and you will find that she is such a delightful person and has the best advice, ”kill them with kindness”. Building officials only know what they know and can be educated.

More Affordable Land Available In Buckingham

Melanie said there is a lot of affordable land for sale and the county is so open and welcoming. They have even said ” Tell them to buy the land and come back and see us”. The county will even allow Melanie to have another tiny home as an ADU in their back yard as long as the septic system can support it.

You can rent in the backyard of an owner’s property with a civil agreement for your tiny home on wheels dwelling as another option as well!

To read all the details of Melanie Copeland’s -What’s Your Tiny Story? Click Here

To Learn more about Facing Homelessness, listen to Rex Hohlbein’s Ted Talk. Click Here



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