Andrew Heben has a background in urban planning and is the author of Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages (2014). Many of the ideas within his book have been put into action through the co-founding of SquareOne Villages, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the development of tiny home communities for people in need of housing.
The organization's first project, Opportunity Village, opened in 2013 and has since provided transitional microhousing to more than 100 otherwise homeless individuals and couples in Eugene, Oregon. The next iteration, Emerald Village, is currently under development and will provide permanent, affordable tiny homes for people with low incomes.
Heben’s idea was initially inspired by a thesis project at the University of Cincinnati, in which he visited and stayed in a variety of tent cities organized by the unhoused. He then outlined a vision for a village model using tiny houses, which is now being pursued by housing coalitions throughout the United States and beyond. Heben’s current work is focused on compiling a toolkit for assisting other local efforts looking to take a tiny house village from concept to reality.