A woman had to move out of her tiny home after 1 day because the city threatened to fine her $1,000 a day




Chasidy Decker
Chasidy Decker's tiny home.  
  • A woman is suing the city of Meridian, Idaho over its ban on living in mobile homes.

  • Chasidy Decker bought her tiny home because she couldn't afford a traditional house.

  • City officials told her she can't live in it legally despite her paying rent to park it in a yard.

A woman who bought a tiny home is taking legal action against her city because she was left homeless after being threatened with fines of $1,000 a day if she lived in it.

Chasidy Decker of Meridian, Idaho, couldn't afford to buy a house so opted for the 252-square-foot tiny home and arranged to put it on Robert Calacal's property paying for $600 a month, according to the lawsuit.

A neighbor called the Meridian Police Department when it arrived on the property and asked whether living in it would be legal.

In May, a day after Decker moved in, a Meridian city code enforcement officer threatened both Decker and Calacal with criminal prosecution and fines of $1,000 a day unless she moved out, the Institute for Justice wrote in a blog post.

Chasidy Decker, 46, is on the ladder in her tiny home that goes up to her bedroom.
Chasidy Decker, 46, is on the ladder in her tiny home that goes up to her bedroom.  

The institute, which files constitutional cases in state and federal courts, said in the blog post that Meridian's city code permitted trailers and recreational vehicles to be parked in residential neighborhoods but did not permit living in them.

Decker and Calacal filed a lawsuit to challenge the city's ban, bringing five claims as to why the restriction on tiny homes breached the Idado constitution.

Judge Jason Scott of the District Court of Ada County allowed four of the five claims to proceed, but blocked Decker from being allowed to live in her home during the legal proceedings.

Decker said she was "disappointed because I really wish I was living in my home again. But I have high hopes that in the end, something good will happen. And I appreciate that the judge is so engaged with the case, because this is something that affects a lot of people in the housing crisis," according to another blog post by the law firm.

Robert Belden, a lawyer with the Institute for Justice, told Insider: "Everyone needs a place to live, but the city would rather have Chasidy be homeless than living in a tiny home on wheels parked on private property. That's not just wrong, it's unconstitutional. Making Chasidy homeless does nothing to improve public health, safety, or welfare in Meridian, and it certainly doesn't improve Chasidy's."

"At a time when so few affordable housing options are available, why is the city's zoning ordinance further reducing such options?" Belden concluded.

Lawyers representing Decker and Calacal didn't immediately respond to a request for comment by Insider.

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