Tiny homes in Buffalo are built for the young and old

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jul 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-26 19:11:36-04

About 16 feet of space across is all some families need to live comfortably in Buffalo.

'Tiny homes' are beginning to occupy many lots in the area that are too small to hold stores, houses or apartments. Some are being built to suit specific needs of certain families, while others are built and occupied by young couples.

Tim Sick and Sal Zambito are building tiny homes for the former group. One house they're finishing on 16th street has a private driveway with a ramp to a back porch, sliding barn doors throughout the house and enough space to hold anything a family would require on the bottom floor.

Sick said the reason they build these homes is to give older couples and people living with disabilities a comfortable home to live in and maintain their independence without having to move.

"I just see a huge need," Sick said. "We've been in the rehab and development business for a while now, and people kept saying to us, 'I wish we had a house we didn't need to move out of.'"

But young couples are also getting in on the game. One house on West Ave. was recently built and is occupied by a young married couple, who maximized the space they have. The house is just under 30 feet across, but the upstairs area holds four bedrooms with ample closet space and multiple bathrooms.

The house sits right across the street from one of the original Buffalo tiny homes.  

Salvador Buscaglia bought the house in 1959 when he moved to the U.S. from Sicily, but the property has been in his family since the beginning of the 1900s. It measures about 15 feet in diameter, but he still raised five children on its wooden floors.

Buscaglia's daughter Angela Esquilin said on New Years the house holds up to 50 people. She quoted an old Italian saying when explaining how the home is able to hold so many people.

"The house will hold as many people as the owner allows," Esquilin said. "So whoever knocks on our door - come on in, sit down, we're having dinner!"

Both Esquilin and Buscaglia said as long as you're willing to make room, a tiny home, new or old, is all you need.