SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (WLNS) – The cost of housing is continuing to rise, but one group of people is trying something unorthodox to save money: living in tiny homes.

It’s all part of a project known as Tiny House Village.

The project materialized over the last five years, at the facilities of the community organization Barrios Unidos in Santa Cruz in response to the housing shortage in the region.

The program mentors youth to teach them how to build their own tiny houses.

The program goes beyond just building homes, it’s about building a whole community here at Barrios Unidos, where more people can enjoy spaces like this garden at an affordable price.

Like Kalikata Mbula, who went from living on the streets to living in this tiny house.

“It’s home,” said Mbula.

Nane Alejandrez, Director of Barrios Unidos says six houses have been built so far, but the plan is going further.

“Eventually, what we would like to do for the future is to develop this whole property where we could develop 40 to 60 units,” said Alejandrez.

Alejandrez says that building houses can cost between $1,500 and $5,000.

For now, the organization has paid the pilot plan and only focuses on students, ex-convicts, and some people struggling to pay rent.

That is why the program will continue building this dream that many consider the “wave of the future” in housing.