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The US Sun

I’m living for $200 a month in a tiny home in a stranger’s backyard – and they got free money to build it for me

By Callie Patteson,


A NINETEEN-year-old student is living inside a tiny home in a stranger’s backyard in California for only $200 a month.

The stellar steal on rent is all thanks to the San Diego couple looking to help ease the ongoing housing crisis in their area.
A 19-year-old student is living in a tiny home in a San Diego couple's backyard Credit: CBS8
The couple funded the construction of the home, which was built by Urban Corps Credit: CBS8
The tiny home measures to about 170 square feet Credit: CBS8

Abdul Mobin Safi, an Afghanistan refugee, is living in Ellen and Greg Stone’s backyard for the next nine months.

The couple, who live in Normal Heights, built the tiny home in partnership with Urban Corps, a non profit that offers paid job training and career development for low-income young adults looking to earn their high school diploma.

In March, the couple began to build the home with the organization – completely funding its construction, according to CBS 8.

“I’m so excited,” Ellen told the outlet.

“We have a great sized lot. Everything lined up. Yeah, it really did.”

The couple initially were planning to buy a tiny home when they first got married, using funds gifted by family and friends, but no longer needed to after they found a larger home.

Instead, they put that money towards building a tiny home in their backyard.

The entire project cost around $75,000, according to Spectrum news 1.

Urban Corp built the home completely from scratch, starting with a simple trailer on wheels to start.

Now, the 170 square foot house is home for Safi for nine months.

Over the course of that period, he will only have to pay $200 to the Stone’s each month for rent.

“Well, it’s very kind,” Safi told CBS 8.

“If I get somewhere, if I can help someone, I will give them this feeling that I have right now.”

Safi is a member of Urban Corp, and one goal of the organization is to help ensure their members have housing, CEO Kyle Kennedy told the outlet.

Kennedy has encouraged all local homeowners to contact Urban Corps of San Diego County if they want to get involved.

If they have enough space in their backyard for a tiny home, the non-profit will pay for the materials.

“All a homeowner has to do is say I have room in my backyard, I am willing for you to put a house there,” he said.

Safi graduates from high school next year and is hoping to become a business owner one day.

“There is money in my mind,” he said.

Currently, he has a great relationship with the Stones, who say he has been a wonderful and quiet tenant on their property.

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