Assembling our first conestoga hut

27 more to go!

This could not have happened without the following people:

    • Bruce Wallbaum and Jesse Ransom – finding the model, finding the materials to order, problem solving on the design and logistics
    • Brenda Konkel, general coordination, logistics
    • The Bodgery and its many volunteers with Jesse Ransom as lead
    • Rob Bloch and Gene Cox – OM Shop Managers with support from key volunteers Tim Jones and Dennis Harrison-Noonan
    • People living at OM village – Chris, Gene, Sofia and Larry
    • And we couldn’t have done it without the design and book of instructions from Community Supported Solutions!

Want to help . . . see how here!

How can I get a tiny home?

Occupy Madison tiny house village is a cooperatively run, self-governing organization.  While the stewardship of the house is free, we expect active participation in our cooperative village, including helping us make money to pay for the costs of the village.

We regret to inform you that at this point we are no longer accepting new residents for our houses, we have more people than houses available.  You can still request to be put on the waiting list at

If you are interested in a tiny home, email (or have someone email on your behalf)  The process will be as follows:

    1. Attend an orientation (Saturday at 4:00 at 1901 Aberg Ave.)
    2. Attend two General Membership meetings (Sunday at 6:00 at 1901 Aberg Ave.)
    3. Become a member, agree to the community agreement
    4. Continue attending General Membership meetings (Sunday at 6:00 at 1901 Aberg  Ave.)
    5. When your time comes, you will live in the village at 304 N 3rd St for a week (if allowed by the city).
    6. While living at the village help build your tiny home or help us with our holiday sale, store sales or other activities
    7. Once you move to the new site, continue actively participating in the community and following community rules

How People are Chosen for the Huts

Residence at 1901 Aberg Ave is decided by the membership as follows:

    1. Members: Attended orientation and become a member, people are considered in the order they have attended orientation and attended meetings to become qualified.
    2. Level of participation: People who are actively participating in meetings and volunteering will get preference over those who are not.
    3. Need:
      1. People who are sleeping outside or in cars
      2. People in shelters
      3. People in hotels
      4. People living with family or friends
    4. Are you a pioneer: Are you a good fit for the community, willing to take risks with this project, be a leader, volunteer and have you shown you can abide by the community agreement and city rules.

(Posted on October 12, revised Dec 5)

It takes a community to build a village!

Here at Occupy Madison, we are 100% volunteer driven and reliant on community funding and support.  Up to this point, we have not had any government money in our project.


In order to build this new village, we know we will need some further support.  We estimate we will be putting in $387,000 in cash ($138,000) and sweat equity/volunteer time ($249,000) and still we will need $450,000 from Dane County to support the project.  It will cost us $250,000 to purchase the property, $125,000 to renovate the building for the temporary use and $50,000 to build the houses.

Want to help?  Donate here.


We estimate it will costs approximately $50,000 a year to operate the new village.  This includes the cost of electricity to the homes, as well insurance, water, gas and electric for the building, cleaning supplies, internet, village maintenance, etc  We will be receiving no government funding for this part of the project.

Want to help?  Donate here.


    • New truck
    • Passenger Van
    • Indoor space (2,000-5,000 sq ft) for October – December so we can build the houses indoors and safely socially distance.
    • Chop Saw
    • 2 new cordless drills
    • Nail gun
    • Bolt cutter
    • Welcome kits (sheets, blankets, pillows, household items – no kitchen supplies please)

To donate items, email


We could use volunteers for some very specific tasks:

    • Pictures/Video of the creation of the village
    • Help us create our on-line store
    • Help us create an on-line auction
    • Carpenters with teaching skills to volunteer weekly to run a volunteer shift
    • Help with fundraising
    • Social media and blogging about our journey
    • Volunteers to help create items for our on-line store (woodworking, jewelry, using the loom, hand sewn items and other crafts)
    • Help scheduling volunteers
    • Help scheduling people who want to get houses
    • Help purchasing materials for building homes
    • Help with thank you notes to all our donors.

If interested, please email

We will also need volunteers to help build the houses once our funding is secured.  Stayed tuned for that.   You can sign up to volunteer here.

(Posted on October 12)

Plans for 1901 Aberg Ave

Occupy Madison has a 2 step plan for the property at 1901 Aberg Ave.


For the winter of 2020-2021 Occupy Madison plans to place 28 “tinier” (60 sq ft) Conestoga Style huts on the property.  These huts are cheaper and faster to building than the “tiny” homes (98 sq ft) we have at 304 N. 3rd St.  These huts would be occupied primarily by people currently sleeping in tents in parks and other areas around Madison

For this phase we would also renovate the inside of the building to include showers, laundry and a non-commercial kitchen for resident use.


Phase 2 would involve getting a planned development zoning approval from the city of Madison.  The second phase would have fewer houses and we would transition to our larger “tiny” houses.  With the second phase we would also determine what additional uses may go with the property (coffee shop, retail store, bakery, etc.)

Want to help?  Donate here.

(article posted on October 12)


Occupy Madison re-awakens with new plans

COVID-19, like for many others, has really changed Occupy Madison. While we have been shut down, we have been trying to figure out what we can do to help the community.

In August we wrote a proposal to build 100 tiny houses. 50 conestoga style houses and 50 of our tinier homes. We asked for $483,000 to pay for staff to manage the project, insurance, utilities, portapotties and hand washing stations.

At the time, we did not have any property for lease or under contract to purchase.

Needless to say, the project did not score well and we were not funded.

Realizing that we needed land to be successful in getting funding for our vision of a new village or two, we started a property search. This is how quickly things have been moving for us.

    • Wednesday, September 23 – Look at the property, check zoning, comp plan, OMSAP
    • Saturday, September 26 – Email county to see if there was a funding possibility with COVID funds (need to be spent by end of year)
    • Sunday, September 27th – Occupy Madison membership meeting, agreed to put in an offer
    • Monday, September 28th – We put in the offer (contingent on zoning and financing)
    • Tuesday, September 29th – Had a meeting with city set up to discuss our plans (Phase 2 at 304 N 3rd St and failed grants we wrote in August) with Community Development and Zoning (tinier houses)
    • Wednesday, September 30th – Offer accepted.
    • Thursday & Friday, October 1 & 2 – work with alders and supervisors to figure out possibility of zoning and funding passing
    • Saturday, October 3rd – Notify Neighborhood
    • Monday, October 5th – State Journal Article

Initially we were aiming to have a funding resolution through the county board by October 15th and a zoning ordinance change from the city on October 20th.  We were working with the contractors to get people into a finished property by Christmas.

Those timelines have been changed.  The county won’t consider any proposal until November 5th.  The city won’t consider a zoning ordinance change until November 17th.   Meanwhile, Alder Syed Abbas is planning a neighborhood meeting the last week in October.

Want to help?  Donate here.

(article posted on October 12)

OM Village Spring Plant Sale – Safer-at-Home Edition

plant sale 2020
Occupy Madison (OM) been growing hundreds of happy vegetable, herb, and flower seedings in our greenhouse… and we’re ready to get them safely to you for your gardens!
This year’s OM spring plant sale is as easy as one, two, three:
  1. Purchase your plants online, here:
  2. Write down your pick-up date
    • For orders placed between Monday 12 pm and Thursday 12 pm, pick up is that Friday after 12 pm
    • For orders placed between Thursday 12 pm and Monday 12 pm, pick up is Tuesday after 12 pm
  3. When it’s time, come to the Village at 304 North Third Street and look under the tent for the bag with your name on it


We’ll keep our OM spring plant sale open as long as we have seedlings available. Shop early for the best selection!
The seedlings have been grown in a rich soil mix with Purple Cow organic compost, soil, sand, and nutrients, and tended daily with love.
All sales support Occupy Madison Inc, a membership non-profit organization whose mission is to join together to creatively work towards a more humane and sustainable world. OM Village includes five tiny homes, a woodworking shop, greenhouse, raised bed gardens, and store (closed during Safer-at-Home). See


Move In Day!

On Friday, November 21, we got the Occupancy Permit for the Village. On Saturday, November 22, 2014, Betty and Chris who have been living in their house for nearly a year, on the street where they have to move it every 24 or 48 hours to comply with parking requirements and without running water or electricity, are moving to their new home! With running water, electricity, flush toilets, showers and a community. The move is a big change. They’ve been through a lot with Occupy, with no legal place to live for so long. They have also been the center of a lot of media attention being the “first” in our grand adventure. Join us in welcoming them home!

Movin’, Cleanin’, Movin’!

OM Build Tiny House Weekly Update:Moving, then cleaning: The Big Move from our our current shop at Argosy Court to our new shop on E. Johnson continues. Over the weekend, all our salvaged pallet wood (for house siding and other projects) was moved, along with tools and other supplies. This week we’re taking down shelving and preparing the walls for cleaning and painting (so we can get our security deposit back!) Shop managers will be organizing the weekend move out of the Argosy Court location, so If you want to help over the weekend, please report in at the Argosy Court shop first.

New ceiling: Our volunteer drywall crew is installing the new ceiling at the E. Johnson site, work will continue during the week.

Join the new OM Build Volunteers group on Facebook!

Weekday hours at Argosy Court
Tuesday 8/12: 6:30-10pm Manager: Robert B
Wednesday 8/13: 3pm-7pm Manager: Pete C
Thursday 8/14: 3pm-7pm Manager: Keith V

Weekend hours also at Argosy Court:
Saturday, 8/16: 10am-5pm Managers: Carol W, Pete C
Sunday, 8/17: 10am-5pm Manager: Allen B, Pete C

Sign-up procedure: Just show up, ready to work (no need to sign up in advance online.) We work with volunteers at all skill levels, so don’t hesitate to volunteer simply because you lack construction experience. The most important qualification we look for is a willingness to learn, to take instructions from the Shop Manager and to follow all shop safety procedures.
Please come ready to work, dressed in work clothes that can get dirty or smeared with paint.

Movin’ Movin’ Movin’!

OM Build Tiny House Weekly Update:The Big Move is ON: We’re finally ready to box up our tools and supplies and make the move from our current shop at Argosy Court to our new shop on E. Johnson. Moving days are Saturday and Sunday, August 9th and 10th. We’re asking all volunteers to come to the Argosy Court shop first, to help with packing and loading. Some volunteers may then ride over to E. Johnson to help with unloading and organizing. Weekday volunteer days at Argosy Court will also involve packing for the move and preparing Houses 2 and 3 for their move.

Insulation done, new ceiling next: Below, you can see the new R-30 insulation that has been installed at the E. Johnson shop. The next step is a vapor barrier and drywall. Our crew of volunteer drywallers will begin installation of the new ceiling on Saturday morning, and hope to finish by Sunday.

Join the new OM Build Volunteers group on Facebook!

Weekday hours at Argosy Court
Tuesday 8/5: 6:30-10pm Manager: Robert B
Wednesday 8/6: 3pm-7pm Manager: Pete C
Thursday 8/7: 3pm-7pm Manager: Keith V

Weekend hours also at Argosy Court:
Saturday, 8/9: 10am-5pm Managers: Carol W, Pete C
Sunday, 8/10: 10am-5pm Manager: Allen B, Pete C

Sign-up procedure: Click here to sign up for a shift. We work with volunteers at all skill levels, so don’t hesitate to volunteer simply because you lack construction experience. The most important qualification we look for is a willingness to learn, to take instructions from the Shop Manager and to follow all shop safety procedures.
Please come ready to work, dressed in work clothes that can get dirty or smeared with paint.