The prototype of a tiny house introduced about a year ago by Dr. Bill Thomas is now available for rent through AirBnB for those who would like to try it out.
The team behind Minka announced the availability of the house, located on Lake Cayuga in upstate New York, on July 25.
Thomas, founder of The Eden Alternative and creator of The Green House model, envisions the prefabricated houses as accessory dwelling units or clustered into so-called pocket neighborhoods — for older adults and others who need affordable housing and desire to remain independent. “For older people, sustaining a big unwieldy house can be the thing that tips the scale from independence to dependence,” he said when first announcing the project.
The Minka prototype, which includes “smart home” features and universal design, was developed for Thomas’ adult daughter, Haleigh Jane, whom he said requires around-the-clock care due to a neurological disorder called Otahara syndrome. AirBnB guests will be hosted by Minka co-founder Jude Meyers Thomas.
“Minka should be out there for everyone to share, and I believe Haleigh Jane believes in Minka and wants to help her family get this business off the ground by showing the world what a home for people of all ages and abilities looks like,” Jude Meyers Thomas said in the AirBnB announcement.
In January, Thomas and the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville announced a year-long pilot project on the campus to test a version of the dwellings as a multigenerational community housing model.
“We are excited about the possibilities of this unique pilot project, which will bring nursing and health professions together with other disciplines, like social work and engineering, while incorporating research outcomes, in an effort to change the way we look at aging in our society,” Ann White, Ph.D., dean of USI’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, said at the time.