They’re all the rage with chic millennial couples on cable TV — but could “tiny houses” also be the solution for Chicago’s homeless population?

It’s a question 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke hopes a series of public hearings can answer.

Costing just $2,000 a pop and measuring a cramped 320 square feet, the homes would be built by volunteers. Similar pilot programs are already underway in Portland, Ore., Berkeley, Calif., and the Seattle-King County area in Washington.

“These cities are testing ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions to a chronic problem that all major urban centers face,” Burke said in a news release. “I see no reason why Chicago should not also think and act innovatively.”

Chicago has nearly 6,000 homeless people, but Burke says that a “tiny house” program would only be part of the solution.

kjanssen@chicagotribune.com

Twitter @kimjnews

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