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“Housing overall is a huge challenge all over the country for everybody but especially for people with serious mental illness living on a fixed income,” says Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health Director of Operations, Thava Mahadevan in a new video depicting the growth and importance of the Tiny Homes Village project currently being constructed at the UNC Farm at Penny Lane.


The Tiny Homes Village is a collaboration with Cross Disability Services, Inc., (XDS, Inc.), a local nonprofit and the UNC School of Social Work. The project aim is to develop a new affordable housing option for people with mental illness and other health conditions living on a fixed income. The village will include 15 tiny homes. Each tiny home will be about 400 square ft, built on a permanent foundation. Veterans with chronic health conditions will be given priority for 5 of the village’s 15 homes. The Tiny Homes Village will also include community amenities that foster activities and interactions among residents, such as a clubhouse, walking trails and an outdoor pavilion.

“Giving people medicine and you know doing therapy is important and it is the cornerstone of treatment for people with serious mental illness but they need so much more to really recover and to give back into a normal a life as possible,” remarks CECMH Director Dr. John Gilmore, MD. “I think it really has taken a community to put this together,”

Tiny Homes Village is located on the grounds of the UNC Farm at Penny Lane, an alternative therapeutic farm in Pittsboro, NC. This location provides residents with access to healthy food, meaningful daily activities, transportation and physical health and behavioral health services provided by the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health.