Frederick Melo

St. Paul approves six tiny homes for the homeless near Lake Phalen

A micro-neighborhood featuring six portable rental homes near St. Paul’s Lake Phalen is expected to open this summer — the efforts of a University of Minnesota research fellow who set out to explore homelessness issues.

Six years ago Gabrielle Clowdus looked into the costs of homelessness on healthcare systems in terms of emergency admissions. Her findings alarmed her, and stirred her to action.

She’s now on the verge of opening her first “Sacred Settlement.” The six homes each span less than 300 square feet and cost roughly $60,000 apiece to construct and install.

“It’s the least expensive affordable housing in our entire state,” Clowdus said Wednesday.