Finding a temporary site IN San Francisco for a village of small houses isn’t impossible. Small house designs are not an unknown. However, What will stop this from happening are current Planning, Zoning, Health, and Building codes. Want to try? 1. Find at least three potential sites for a TEMPORARY demonstration project (land owner’s tentative approval for 6 months??) that can serve as a proof of concept and as a public educational tool. 2. Educate yourself on all the City codes that prohibit this concept. 3. Prepare solid arguments as to why temporary exemptions and variances should be granted. 4. Lobby the Mayor, key department heads, and the District Supervisor where the village could be located. When someone high enough up the City’s chain of command says “yes, lets do this!” then there’s hope. 5. Raise funds…make it happen. 6. Use this demonstration project as catalysis for permanent policy change.
Rebuilding Together was the organization approached. You are correct in that they have a stock pile of tools that are only used during their limited project cycles. Although something like this would be outside of their sphere of experience, I did find an example in Ohio of a local branch of Rebuilding Together operating a tool lending site.
Habitat for Humanity might be another interesting organization. Like Rebuilding Together they have a stock pile of tools and a mission focused upon homeowners / homeownership, the segment of the population that would most likely need a variety of tools for the do-it-yourself projects.
The idea to relaunch a tool lending center stems from my neighborhood's effort to attract businesses and shoppers to the Leland Ave commercial corridor. One non profit was approached with the idea but due to several external factors we had to put it on the back burner. If you are interested in the idea maybe we can discuss it and see if where it goes.