I am excited to introduce you to Kaylee, a passionate advocate for the tiny house movement and a biology teacher with a deep interest in sustainable living. Kaylee will share the inspiring saga of her journey building her own tiny house and how it reshaped her perspective on simple, ecological living. We'll dig into the challenges she faced from zoning laws to financial hurdles and how these experiences fueled her advocacy for tiny house legalization. Kaylee's story is not just about building a small home, but about building a life aligned with values of minimalism and sustainability. Join us as we explore the highs and lows of tiny house living and learn from Kaylee’s relentless pursuit of her dreams against all odds.

In This Episode:

  • 🏡 Tiny House Lifestyle Challenges: Kaylee shares the immense difficulties in transitioning to tiny home living, including legal hurdles.
  • 🌿 Environmental Passion: As a biology teacher, she highlights her commitment to eco-friendly living and how it integrates with her tiny house journey.
  • 📜 Advocating for Legal Change: Her involvement in pushing for legislative changes to accommodate tiny house living, reflecting on her work with bill S 897.
  • 🧰 Building Struggles: Kaylee narrates the practical challenges faced while building her tiny home, including weather setbacks and zoning conflicts.
  • 💑 Relationship Dynamics: Kaylee's relationship plays a crucial role in her tiny house adventure, providing both support and a backup housing option.
  • 📚 Education Evaluation: How her personal experiences have changed the way she views education and priorities.
  • 🚀 Movie Inspiration: “Gattaca” acts as a motivational tool for her, symbolizing overcoming imposed limitations, similar to her struggles with tiny house living.
  • 💸 Financial Struggles: Discusses the financial stress of building and maintaining a tiny house, including renting out spaces to fund her project.
  • ⚖️ Navigating Local Politics: Kaylee describes contrasting interactions at state and local levels, highlighting more receptive planning board meetings.
  • 🤔 Reflection on Life Choices: Despite challenges, Kaylee wouldn't change her journey, embracing her natural tendency to challenge authority and societal norms.

Links and Resources:

Guest Bio:



Kaylee, a biology teacher passionate about the environment, dreamed about tiny houses for over a decade. Amidst the pandemic, she dove into building science, envisioning a sustainable sanctuary custom to her unique lifestyle needs. Life redirected her after she started her build, offering a promotion in a new town where housing was scarce. Opting for land and a pre-owned tiny house, she lived off-grid illegally while she worked on her tiny house build. Financial strains led her to explore tenant arrangements until town regulators intervened. This journey ignited Kaylee's advocacy for legalizing tiny homes, championing affordable, sustainable living for all, free from restrictive zoning.


More Photos:

Trailer for Kaylee's Tiny House Build

Framing Kaylee's Tiny House

Interior Construction View


More Photos:

Kaylee at Work building her tiny home

Progress Building the Tiny House

The Little Red Wagon Entry

Exterior Side View of The Little Red Wagon


More Photos:

Kaylee's Sweet Cat

The ladder access in Kaylee's Tiny Home

Tiny Home Heater


More Photos:

Interior Views of Kaylee's Plant set up

Kaylee's Tiny House Tour

Tiny House Entry Way

Kaylee's Tiny House with Upper Storage


More Photos:

Tour of Kaylee's Tiny House

Tiny House Bathroom

Toilet in Kaylee's Tiny House

Beautiful Views from the Location


Ethan Waldman [00:00:01]: Alright. I am here with Kaylee. Kaylee is a biology teacher, passionate about the environment, who dreamed about tiny houses for over a decade. Amidst the pandemic, she dove into building science, envisioning a sustainable sanctuary custom to her unique lifestyle needs. Life redirected her after she started her build, offering a promotion in a new town where housing was scarce. Opting for land and a pre owned tiny house, she lived off grid illegally while she worked on her tiny house build. Financial strains led her to explore tenant arrangements until town regulators intervene. This journey ignited Kaylee's advocacy for legalizing tiny homes, championing affordable, sustainable living for all, free from restrictive zoning.

Ethan Waldman [00:00:44]: Kaylee, welcome to the show.

Kaylee [00:00:47]: Hi. Thank you for having me.

Ethan Waldman [00:00:49]: Yeah. It's, it's great to have you. So, as a biology teacher, you know, how has your understanding of environmental science and and sustainability influenced your approach to to tiny living?

Kaylee [00:01:04]: You know, it's been fascinating. You know, I've been teaching environmental science for a long time, and whenever I would teach about composting, the concept of the composting toilet would always come up. And the kids would always ask me, okay. But would do you poop in a bucket?

Ethan Waldman [00:01:26]: And what grade

Kaylee [00:01:27]: do you teach?

Ethan Waldman [00:01:27]: School. High school. Okay.

Kaylee [00:01:29]: They're they're not shy. Yeah. And, of course, I would say, well, no, but I would. Yeah. So that, you know, like, that kind of I always kinda wanted to reconcile that part of, like, how I educate and versus, like, how I live my life. And living tiny certainly gave me that opportunity to finally be able to say, well, yes. As a matter of fact, I do.

Ethan Waldman [00:01:59]: Nice. Nice. So I I know your bio kind of gives us the outline of your story, but I wanna I wanna fill in I wanna really fill it in for listeners because I think, you know, a lot of people out there can identify with moving to a new place, having trouble finding housing and dreaming of a tiny house. So, you know, can you, can you talk about, you know, your personal story of your of your 2 movable tiny houses on on your land?

Kaylee [00:02:30]: Sure. So, I during the pandemic, I decided, you know, now's the time. I'm gonna research. I'm gonna plan. I'm gonna do all of the things that I need to do. And then I did it, and I've I found a place for me to build it and live in it in someone's backyard. Mhmm. And then I got a new job, And I couldn't turn it down.

Kaylee [00:02:55]: It was a promotion. It was perfect. Everything was amazing, and I said yes right away. And this was maybe, like, the end of the school year, maybe, like, May or June. And all of a sudden, I was like -

Ethan Waldman [00:03:17]: 2021. Okay.

Kaylee [00:03:19]: Yep. And I was sort of like, okay. Well, now what do I do now? I'm sort of faced with this choice. I've already purchased a trailer, but I haven't built anything on it. It's not even delivered yet. So now my whole plan of, like, where I'm gonna build it is sort of kerfuffled, where I'm gonna keep it. And I was moving to a new place, so I'm like, I don't have any connections out there. How am I gonna be like, hey, can I live in your backyard? Like

Ethan Waldman [00:03:47]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:03:47]: It was just very and it was a it was a very unsettled time, but I just decided I would explore all the possible options. At the time, my finances were pretty good. So I was like, if I have to get an apartment, and that's what I'd do. But I looked, and there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. It and we're not even talking about finding something in my price range. I was probably looking at the top tier price wise at the time. Anyway, so I could have afforded whatever I found, but I didn't find anything.

Kaylee [00:04:28]: So that was definitely pretty difficult situation to be in. I've already accepted this job. I've already told my other job I'm not returning, and it was scary. So Yeah. I just kept looking, kept pushing forward, and I did find a pretty great lot, of land, and it was perfect. And I said, you know what? I'm gonna do it. This is it. I'm gonna build the house.

Kaylee [00:04:58]: I'm gonna build the tiny. I'm gonna put it on the land, and I'm gonna live in it. But I also thought I was a superhero. I thought I could build a house in a summer vacation. That's legit. Now we all know that's not how it went. We've all done it. We've all done it.

Kaylee [00:05:19]: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, this I worked on it during the summer, and I got the floor done. I was very proud of that. But it was September and school was starting, and I had the floor done. And so what I ended up doing was I just tent camped on the lot that I just bought Okay. For a month or 2. And I was commuting back to where my build was, trying to work on it on the weekends.

Kaylee [00:05:53]: Uh-huh. That summer rained so much. Looking back, it's just hilarious. That summer rained so much, and I had rain damage on the trailer. And I would go back on the weekends, and I wouldn't even be able to work on it because I would just be crying. Like, I worked so hard, and I have to redo it all because it all got wet. Oh. And, yeah, it was a pretty and I only had the weekends and it was pretty rough.

Kaylee [00:06:21]: But, eventually, I had to face the music because it was getting cold at the tent. Yeah. It was. It was getting cold in the tent. And actually, at the time, I didn't have a car either. I had lived for 3 years with no car, and I just had a motorcycle and a bicycle. Mhmm. So I'm doing this whole back and forth thing in the commute and, just on my motorcycle.

Kaylee [00:06:48]: I mean, I slept in that tent during 2 hurricanes and probably rode the motorcycle to work. Oh my god. Stays too. Oh my god. I mean, it was just in it was just insane. Wow. And yeah. But I did it.

Kaylee [00:07:05]: And then and then, like I said, the the music came, and it was winter. Or just around the corner was winter. Wow. So here I am with a floor and a tent and 5 acres.

Ethan Waldman [00:07:25]: Wow.

Kaylee [00:07:26]: It's just insane. I don't know what I was thinking. So I was like, well, I need, like

Ethan Waldman [00:07:32]: How did you stay, like, motivated during that time? That sounds like just such a struggle and, like, so hard.

Kaylee [00:07:40]: It was. To be honest, I think it was the first time I'm laughing about it. 3 years ago.

Ethan Waldman [00:07:45]: Well, that's good. It's good that you can laugh about it now.

Kaylee [00:07:49]: But honestly so I don't know. Have you ever seen the movie Gattaca? A biology teacher. Okay. So biology fans are and, you know, might know it. But it's a movie set in the future about, like, when people are genetically engineered and this one guy was not you know, his parents had an accident and he was not genetically engineered like everybody else. And he faced all this discrimination, and he really wanted to be an astronaut, But he couldn't just because he wasn't genetically engineered. And he sort of broke the mold, and he ran away from home, and he stole somebody's genetic I don't he didn't steal it. He bought it.

Kaylee [00:08:35]: But he's bought somebody's genetically engineered identity. then in the end of the movie, I don't wanna give it all away, but in the end of the movie, there's he says this line about, you know, he's having a conversation with someone. And they ask him how he did it when he wasn't supposed to be ever able to do it or ever able to compete with people who were genetically engineered. And he basically said, I stopped turning. His words are way better. The movie is very good. Okay.

Kaylee [00:09:11]: And he said, I he said that he realized that he was swimming. And he said I he just stopped turning around and going back. And the only way at one point, the only way was forward. And at some point, you go forward and eventually, you're closer to the other side then, you know, the instinct is to turn around and save yourself. But, actually, you're probably just closer to the other side. Wow. And I just kind of, like, kept running that in my head. Like, at like, the only way it was gonna happen was if I refused to, you know, save myself.

Kaylee [00:09:56]: I really wanted to live in a tiny house. Really, really, really did. And that was at at that point, I was like, I know I'm swimming up stream. This is not, like, cultural. It's not legal in some cases. Yeah. But the only way it's gonna happen is if I just keep going forward and refuse to accept any other option or any other outcome.

Ethan Waldman [00:10:19]: Wow. Okay. That's that's so inspiring. Thank you for sharing that. I love Yeah. Like to hear about kind of peep your mindset during that time. So okay. So where we left off, you worked all summer.

Ethan Waldman [00:10:32]: You got the floor done, which don't feel bad about that. That's all I got done the 1st summer of my tiny house build I thought I was gonna do in 1 summer too. Okay. So

Kaylee [00:10:42]: Yeah.

Ethan Waldman [00:10:43]: Yeah. Your floor done. Winter you're living in a tent. Winter is coming.

Kaylee [00:10:47]: Yeah.

Ethan Waldman [00:10:47]: It's got some Game of Thrones vibes. Winter is coming.

Kaylee [00:10:50]: It does. It does.

Ethan Waldman [00:10:51]: Okay. So okay. Now let's pick let's pick the story back up.

Kaylee [00:10:54]: So I bought a pre owned tiny house at that point. Okay. I looked around. I purchased it, and it was great. I love that house. And I lived in it pretty solidly for over a year. And then by that point, I I hired somebody to finish the shell basically of my build.

Ethan Waldman [00:11:20]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:11:21]: And while that was happening, I lived in the house that I bought, the tiny that I bought. Yep. And it was a great situation, but I never planned on financially investing in 2 tiny houses. I had budgeted for 1. And 2. It's a totally different story. So I'm starting to feel, like, the financial crunch at that point.

Ethan Waldman [00:11:46]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:11:48]: And but fortunately, my build was now a shell, and I was like, it's like camping, but it's better. And I've done that before.

Ethan Waldman [00:11:56]: Yeah. It's like camping with insulation.

Kaylee [00:11:59]: Yeah. It it didn't have that at that point. But

Ethan Waldman [00:12:02]: Okay. Okay.

Kaylee [00:12:04]: But it had walls and a roof and, you know, if an animal brushed up against it in the night, I probably wouldn't notice. So Mhmm. So I was like, I'm just gonna move in to that, and, you know, maybe I'll be able to get the installation done before this winter. And that didn't happen. But anyway so I had advertised my tiny house, seeking tenants.

Ethan Waldman [00:12:36]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:12:37]: And I did find a a lovely couple, who wanted to rent it out. And so I invited them. We worked out a lease situation and everything, and, they were great. And they lived in their they were building out their van, so my land was very much a construction site.

Ethan Waldman [00:12:59]: Okay. So that yeah. You were building your tiny house and they were building a van?

Kaylee [00:13:03]: Yep. And Wow. I'm living in my tiny house and they're living in the other tiny house. And it was all great. And I was very happy in that situation, but then we did get a letter from the town, basically requesting a building permit. So it was their first stop or first attempt. To sort of intervene Okay. So to say.

Kaylee [00:13:37]: So at that point, I called them and I said, I don't understand. Everything's on wheels. Nothing is a a permanent building. And I was told you're not allowed to have stored vehicles on your land in this town. It's a Mhmm. Zoning ordinance. Mhmm. And I'm really really strapped for cash at this point.

Ethan Waldman [00:14:09]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:14:10]: So I'm like, you know what? Fine. I'll just sell everything. So my tenants were planning on leaving anyway, because they were gonna live in their van.

Ethan Waldman [00:14:24]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:14:24]: So I was like, let's just let's just call it Just call it. And let's just call it. I'm just gonna sell everything.

Ethan Waldman [00:14:33]: Yep. Yep.

Kaylee [00:14:35]: And so I started wrapping things up there, trying to finish the outside of my build so I could move it Mhmm. Which, again, history repeats itself, was not going as fast as I had planned Yep.

Ethan Waldman [00:14:54]: Yep.

Kaylee [00:14:55]: And was not going to be completed in the summer. So but, like so the town official gave me 30 days, basically, to get everything off my

Ethan Waldman [00:15:06]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:15:08]: So I did not finish the siding. I would I, you know, I've wanted to get the siding and the roof done before I moved my build.

Ethan Waldman [00:15:16]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:15:18]: Just because I didn't want anything, you know, flying off or, you know Mhmm. Whatever. So I put it that 30 days came, and I wasn't ready. And I was like, well, let me just push my boundaries here. Yeah. And I just kept working on it. I'm trying to get it done. Trying to get it done.

Kaylee [00:15:42]: Trying to get it done. And I never got anything else from the town official.

Ethan Waldman [00:15:50]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:15:50]: And then I said, that's that seems a little bit weird. And then I reflected back on the conversation that I had with him. And after I said, I was like, you know what? I'm just gonna sell everything. After that, he said, well, can you send me a a letter to that effect? And during the call, I was like, yes. But then I hung up, and I was like, I'm not giving you any official documentation of something that I may or may not do so that you can hang me with it later. Right. So I I never sent him anything. Like, you're gonna have to, like, really come for me for that.

Kaylee [00:16:24]: Or, like, you're gonna have to why won't you document that?

Ethan Waldman [00:16:28]: Right.

Kaylee [00:16:28]: And so I always kind of thought that was a little bit weird because I felt like if you're an official, you want official documentation, you would do that yourself and send it to me. Like, you know, as of our conversation, you agreed to sell everything.

Ethan Waldman [00:16:44]: Yeah. Yeah.

Kaylee [00:16:46]: Yeah. That's weird. Right? So I I just never I never sent him the letter, and I just totally ignored it. I never heard back from him about anything. And I at that point, you know, my 30 days are up, and I'm looking to see what's going on with this situation in reality. So I pulled the zoning ordinances, and I I read them again. I read them when I bought the land, and nothing popped at me.

Ethan Waldman [00:17:20]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:17:21]: So I I read them again, and it doesn't say anything about store vehicles. It does if you're in a certain flood plain. Mhmm. And I'm pretty sure I'm not where I am at. So I think he was just trying to bully me. And so and and here we are. I mean, it's a year later and I'm I'm still there. So what? So that's my that's my suspicions.

Ethan Waldman [00:17:46]: And Do you think that it was, like, was it based on maybe, like, a complaint or something and that they were just kind of doing what they had to do, kind of following up on the complaint?

Kaylee [00:17:57]: You know, it's possible. But at the same I'm a I have one neighbor there, only 1. And they're very, like, they're very cool. I honestly when I was tenting there, I honestly don't think they even knew that I was there. And even when I lived in the tiny house by myself and I didn't have any tenants, There was one winter day where I came back from work and saw, like, snowmobile prints in the snow. I'm pretty sure that my neighbor or my neighbor's kids, like, snowmobiled through my property and still nothing. And they would have seen the houses, you know, then Yeah.

Kaylee [00:18:42]: And never said anything. I really don't my my gut really tells me that the neighbors didn't have a problem. But there was one day where, like, I had somebody, like a friend over at the same we were working on my motorcycle, and then my tenants came, home at the same day. And I feel like maybe somebody driving by, like, saw, like, a lot of commotion there that one time. Maybe it was the inspector himself who drove by at that, like, one thirty second window. We were where we were all there, you know, visible from the street. I don't know. Well, in the world never know.

Ethan Waldman [00:19:28]: Yeah. So that must be so stressful because it sounds like you're still living with the you know, it's it's still there. It's still possible that the town could decide to to pursue it further.

Kaylee [00:19:44]: It is. But my sit I'm not living there anymore. So Ethan if they do, it's a it's a it's a little bit less of a risk for me. So right so shortly after my tenants moved in .

Kaylee [00:20:07]: Mandatory preorganization needed. Sorry. I wasn't expecting that. So shortly after I moved into my build and my tenants moved into theirs, like I said, I didn't have the installation done. I sort of thought I would work on it. And as it got colder, it would get warmer because it would be more insulated every day. Yep. But then I had I had already installed the heat in the build.

Kaylee [00:20:37]: And then it stopped working. And we weren't sure why. We weren't sure if it was because it just wasn't keep it wasn't insulated enough and it just wasn't keeping up, or if it was broken, or if it was the propane tanks that weren't filled correctly, or whatever. We we had no clue. School's very much in session. I am very much, busy. And, you know, we tried a couple thing a couple things to try to keep get it running and keep it running.

Kaylee [00:21:11]: The problem is it would turn on and then it would just kick off and not restart. And I was like, I'm gonna try to figure it out. I'm gonna try to stick it out. I have a very pretty solid track record of sticking it out at this point. But I had kinda told I have a cat, and I told myself, like, if her water freezes, we're out. Oh. I know. And then it happened.

Kaylee [00:21:40]: So there was one night, we we stayed there, and it was 26 degrees in the house. And we we were there. We had an we did have an electric blanket, but both of us were under the covers. And it was pretty cold. And so that was it. I called out of work the next day, and I packed her up, and I said, something's gotta go. So I I made arrangements. I brought my cat to my parents, and I went I made arrangements to basically sleep on my cousin's couch who lives near me, near my job.

Kaylee [00:22:22]: And that was that. That was gonna be the winter. I was gonna I was gonna sleep on the couch for the winter, and the cat was gonna stay with my parents for the winter, and we're gonna figure it out, until we'll figure it out in spring. Yeah. But then I I met a guy, and he was I was pretty much done with dating at that point. But because I figured, like, nobody's gonna live in a tiny house with Ethan, and nobody's gonna poop in a bucket with me. So Yeah.

Kaylee [00:22:58]: I'm just I just gave up. But then I met a guy, and he was like, no. I'm not gonna live in a tiny house, but it's totally cool, and I actually love that you have your own stuff. So I was like, I'll take that. So we started dating. And around the time the heat broke, I also got really sick. And my cousin lives with, like, 10 people in her house, and I didn't wanna get everybody sick, so I was like, can I just stay with you? Because if I have it, you probably have it already too.

Ethan Waldman [00:23:32]: Wow.

Kaylee [00:23:33]: So I he said, sure. Stay stay here, and then I pretty much never left. I pretty much moved in with him at that point. Mhmm. And a couple months later, we moved the cat from my parents to his house, and I've been living with him ever since. So, you know, the plan was always just finish the outside of the tiny house and then move it to his backyard anyway. That's sort of, like, the ongoing plan. So if the town does come back and say something, I'm just gonna say, like, well, I'm still planning on moving.

Ethan Waldman [00:24:09]: Yeah. Yeah.

Kaylee [00:24:09]: Or actually just, you know, just suck it up and move it before the outside's done. You know? But as a teacher, I'm not working on it at all during this school year.

Ethan Waldman [00:24:19]: During this time?

Kaylee [00:24:20]: I have no time. Yeah. So it's you know, we tarped it up in the fall and, you know, school's out in 5 weeks. I'm gonna go back to it. It's gonna be exactly the same. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, hopefully, I'll get the outside done this summer, but whatever doesn't get done by September Yeah.

Kaylee [00:24:42]: Doesn't get done. Yeah. So so that's where we're at, you know. And I you know, technically, tiny houses aren't legal where he lives either. But it would just be basically at that point. I mean, it liter it it it really is just a a a vehicle. Nobody's living in it.

Kaylee [00:25:06]: You know? Right. And nobody would live in it. I'm not gonna live in it in his backyard.

Ethan Waldman [00:25:11]: Right.

Kaylee [00:25:12]: I mean, I Sure. You know, but a lot of this journey for me has been, you know, about, you know, the freedom to, like, live however I want. Yep. even if other people think it's crazy. Some you know? Yeah. The two times I slept in the tent through the hurricane were terrifying. Yeah. But the rest of the time, I loved it.

Kaylee [00:25:38]: Some of my those are some of my favorite days. Nice. And it was very freeing for me to, like, go from work back to the tent and have literally nothing to do. There were no dishes to wash because there was no sink and there were no dishes. There was nothing to sweep because there was nowhere to sweep.

Ethan Waldman [00:26:01]: Yeah. Yeah.

Kaylee [00:26:02]: There they just you know, there was nothing. I just went there, and I didn't have anything to do. There's no no domestic stress whatsoever.

Ethan Waldman [00:26:12]: Yeah. Yeah.

Kaylee [00:26:15]: And that's and that's exactly why I wanted to go tiny. You know, I put a lot in my job teaching, and I don't wanna have to have domestic stress.

Ethan Waldman [00:26:25]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:26:27]: I I don't I don't care for that.

Ethan Waldman [00:26:30]: So this whole experience sounds like it got you interested and kind of seeing the need for change at a at a broader level, and that and you've you've since gotten involved in in that process. Can you can you tell me about that?

Kaylee [00:26:52]: Yeah. So I've been working to pass bill s 897 in Massachusetts, along with many other wonderful tiny house people in the community. Mhmm. Among them, Vera Struck, who you've interviewed, and Dan Fitzpatrick, who you interviewed also. And it's been, very eye opening as to what, real like, how the legislative process works and what's really going on down at that state house, has been it's been very eye opening, and I'm very glad to have had that experience. And I'm also working, with the city of Holyoke. I call in to their planning board meetings every day, or every meeting. Yeah.

Kaylee [00:27:48]: And because they're also working on a tiny house, a local tiny house ordinance. So I'm always there.

Ethan Waldman [00:28:00]: Yep. So You know? What would you like

Kaylee [00:28:02]: to see? Person. You know, I've heard that Sure. They love it.

Ethan Waldman [00:28:07]: You know? I've actually heard that a lot of town planning officials are are usually pretty pro tiny houses, but they also have to enforce the laws that are currently written.

Kaylee [00:28:19]: Yes. Yes. So it's been 2 very different experiences working at the state level and working at the local level. Yeah. It's wildly different. You know, at the at the state level, they're so you're so disconnected from it no matter how hard you, like, try to push in, it's like they they don't they say they want you there, but they don't really want you you there.

Kaylee [00:28:49]: Whereas, when I go to the meetings in Holyoke, they I feel like they do appreciate when I, you know, speak during public hearings. They are happy to have constituents there and get feedback from them. And, you know, I often have to stay till the end for them to get to tiny houses. Yep. And I hear them, you know, going it's the planning board, so they're reviewing permits and they're working with people to and they really, really, really do, like, try to get people's projects, like, across the finish line. Like, they're really not there to be, like, no, we just don't want that. Right.

Kaylee [00:29:38]: know, they really do, like, and a lot of their feedback is really, really quality. You know, when I think of, like, a if I'm working on something and I want somebody to look at it and edit it and come up with improvements, it it feels more like that editing process than it does this, like, you know, yellow caution tape wall of bureaucracy. And it's actually pretty pleasant to be in their meetings.

Kaylee [00:30:11]: But at the state level, it's not like that at all. You know, they they listen, and they're like, okay. Great. Thanks. They don't have any, like And and you don't talk to the legislator. You talk to their secretary or Right.

Ethan Waldman [00:30:28]: Right.

Kaylee [00:30:29]: I don't know. You know? And their meetings are are and that's the other thing. Their meetings are scheduled during the day. When can I go there? I cannot go there. You know, I can't Right. You know, I'm like but the but the planning board meetings are are when people could go. Right. You know, they're in the evening.

Kaylee [00:30:45]: In the evening. Yeah. So it's just it's definitely been a very different experience. Yeah.

Ethan Waldman [00:30:55]: So where where are things out at with the with, you know, the movable tiny house bill s 897. Cause I think, it's been it's been a little while. I think we had Vera on the show maybe 6 months ago or so. Have have there been any updates?

Kaylee [00:31:15]: Yeah. So it has moved into the ways and means committee. So the the way things work there is bills will be filed, and then they will be reviewed by, almost like a topical kind of committee.

Ethan Waldman [00:31:35]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:31:36]: So ours was obviously reviewed by the housing committee. Yep. And the housing committee reported favorably on our bill.

Ethan Waldman [00:31:47]: Okay.

Kaylee [00:31:48]: And now it is in the ways and means committee, which is my understanding of it is that the ways and ways and means committee sort of decides the, like, logistics and feasibility of actual implementation and execution of such a bill. Yeah. And at any committee, they can change things. So whatever the ways and my understanding is that there have been no language changes up until this point to our original bill. But the Ways and Means Committee could make changes, and they could combine it with another bill. Mhmm. They could delete things. They could not report it favorably.

Kaylee [00:32:42]: There's all kinds I mean, there's all kinds of possible outcomes, and we're sort of kept in the dark. You know? We're not we don't get continual updates. So we just have to kinda cross our fingers and hope and pray and see what happens. And we are advocating continually. We do meet with people who are on the ways and means committee and to talk about tiny houses. Yeah. And we are doing affordable housing Massachusetts is having an event. I I can't go because of school, but we will have representation there.

Kaylee [00:33:23]: I believe Vera is going.

Ethan Waldman [00:33:25]: Nice.

Kaylee [00:33:25]: So things are still as things are still happening on our end, but it's really not don't really have a lot of clarity, about Yeah. What the status of things is while it's in the ways and means committee.

Ethan Waldman [00:33:39]: Yeah. Well, I guess, you know, I wanted and if somebody listening is curious about that bill, I would, you know, definitely recommend my interview with Vera Struck. It's episode 283. So you can go to thetinyhouse.net/283 Ethan find that. Vera really we go through the mechanics of what the bill does and what it means. And it's actually it's a pretty innovative way of of legalizing tiny houses. But I guess what I wanna kind of talk, you know, about now is just, you know, I think that a lot of people are were maybe expecting to hear a happy ending to this story. You know? And, you know, it's not like a sad ending, but it's certainly not resolved.

Ethan Waldman [00:34:28]: And

Kaylee [00:34:28]: No. It's not.

Ethan Waldman [00:34:30]: I'm curious, you know, based on your experience, you know, what, you know, what advice would you give to somebody in your position, you know, 3 years ago? You know, like, would you have done you know, knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently to to, you know, maybe avoid the situation that that you're in? Or maybe you wouldn't do anything differently.

Kaylee [00:34:53]: You know, I I honestly don't think that I would have, done anything differently. I I know myself, and I know, like, my stubbornness, and my natural tendency to sort of buck authority.

Ethan Waldman [00:35:14]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:35:15]: And I I know that I wouldn't I wouldn't have done I'm like, I want a tiny house, and I want it now and nothing and nobody is gonna stop me or tell me otherwise and tell me I can't have 1 or live in it. And so I I really honestly think I probably would have made all the same choices. Yeah. And I'm really happy. You know? I I love that you know what? I love my boyfriend. I love living with him. It's definitely not what I envisioned that where this would go. Yeah.

Kaylee [00:35:47]: But it's also not you know, I don't see it as the end of the story either. You know, that house is gonna get done. Like, I don't care how, but it will get done. I will finish building it. And, you know, and it will be I don't know what that will look like when it is done. You know? Maybe it will move into his backyard. Maybe it will be a very overpriced, oversized walk in closet. But it will be something that I can say, I built that, you know, and I, you know, I had somebody build the the shell, but it was still it was my plan, and I did a lot of a lot of the a lot of the work.

Kaylee [00:36:36]: You know, I put exterior insulation on it, put the siding on it to the floor. You know, and all the inside will be me. All of the trades will be me. So I'll be able to I even though it's not done, I look at it and I'm proud of myself. And that in and of itself is, like, a pretty big deal. Yeah. Yeah. And and the whole experience has not really just changed how I feel about tiny living, but it's also changed how I feel about education.

Kaylee [00:37:09]: You know, through some of this process, I was, you know, without a better word for it, homeless. Yeah. I slept in a tent for a few months. I couchsurfed for a few months. And, you know, I a lot of my students undergo similar life situations. And

Ethan Waldman [00:37:33]: Yeah.

Kaylee [00:37:33]: You know, I love biology. I love environmental science. I think it's all super important. But, you know, I also go to committee meetings. And for those of you listeners who are not in Massachusetts, we have a standardized test, called the MCAS. Mhmm. And, you know, I go to MCAS meetings where we vet MCAS questions, and I hear things like, should we really be taking out vocabulary? And I think to myself, like, well, are quadruple syllable words really important in life? I don't know. I just I think biology and environmental science is super important.

Kaylee [00:38:18]: I think everybody should know it, but I definitely also question, you know, whether it's the most important thing. And or if there are things that we could be doing better in education system to you know? You know, I hear from kids all the time, like, I don't wanna do this. This isn't, like, where I wanna be. And I'm like, I get it. I feel like I'm I'm so overrun with empathy that I I'm not as effective anymore.

Ethan Waldman [00:38:47]: Wow.

Kaylee [00:38:48]: But maybe but maybe that is, you know, leading to a different chapter where we can where I now that my eyes have been opened to different issues. Maybe I can make some changes later. And maybe that's all coming out after I finish the house. Yes. But, you know, I really have learned that there really is no beginning and no end to the journey that we call life. You know, it all just sort of is just lesson after lesson after lesson. And you've learned what you're ready to learn and you take with you what you Ethan. And you just every day is a new day and a new opportunity to do something, even if it's just putting up one board.

Kaylee [00:39:38]: Yeah. You know, sometimes sometimes I was all you know, I was like, I can only I have 20 minutes, but I have to do something, and that's just, put up the board.

Ethan Waldman [00:39:49]: That's awesome. So Good for you. I mean, I can't I really wanna follow your progress and just see as things take shape and, and you shared so many great pictures of the progress of the house. So I'll, you know, I'll go through those and, you know, people listening, this is going to be episode 299. So thetinyhouse.net/299. We'll get you to the show notes page for this episode where you'll find all the pictures of both tiny houses and a transcript and and links and all those things.

Kaylee [00:40:26]: Yep. Yes. And the little one is still for sale.

Ethan Waldman [00:40:29]: Okay. So the little one is for sale. Where could, is there, like, a website or somewhere where people can find out more about it?

Kaylee [00:40:36]: It is posted on tiny house listings.

Ethan Waldman [00:40:39]: Okay. Okay. Well, I will link to that as well. So if anybody is looking for a tiny house, there sounds like there's one for sale. Kaylee, thank you so much for being a guest on the show. I I really enjoyed meeting you, and and I I wish you the best.

Kaylee [00:40:55]: Oh, thank you for having me. I appreciate it, and it's been a pleasure.

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