Curriculum Vitae — Tim McCormick
Portland, Oregon & Northern California, USA
+1 503 334 1894
last updated 7 August, 2023
I am a housing advocate, researcher, and project developer, based in Portland, Oregon, and Northern California. I am Director of non-profit Housing Alternatives Network, through which I support a variety of other projects/orgs I work on, including Mendocello house prototyping project, consulting to Cascadia Clusters workforce training program for the formerly unhoused, National Vehicle Residency Collective, Multnomah County's Microvillage Initiative, lead organizer of the Village Collaborative national advocacy network, and as founder & editor of HousingWiki. I am also currently writing/editing an open book project, Village Buildings: West Coast housing from the bottom up and outside in, with Village Collaborative, and editing/co-writing a book, Apology for the Builder, on speculative and terraced housing from 17th century London to today, for YIMBY Press.
M.S.L.I.S. (Library and Information Science), completed all but thesis.
New York University / Long Island University joint program.
B.A, Art / Design, Yale University. 1997.
Diploma, Valedictorian honors, 1992 - Ida B. Wells-Barnett (formerly Wilson) public high school, Portland.
Housing Alternatives Network - Director (Nov 2021 - )
non-profit organization to collaborate on and support research, development, social enterprise, and start-up projects in housing: including Cascadia Clusters, Multnomah County's Microvillages Initiative, Village Collaborative, PDX Shelter Forum, HousingWiki, etc.
Oregon Cooperative Housing Network - Co-founder (January 2021 - March 2022). Co-developed and funded by SquareOne Villages of Eugene, OR.
Woodsong Associates - contract work for planning consulting, on California cities' accessory-dwelling programs. (2021).
PDX Shelter Forum - founder & Director (2020 - present).
The Village Collaborative - lead organizer and editor. (2017 - present).
National housing advocacy network associated with SquareOne Villages, Eugene, OR.
HousingWiki (formerly YIMBYwiki) - founder and editor (2016 - present).
Houslets project - lead researcher & exhibitor (2013-2018).
Stanford MediaX - 2013-14.
Stanford Highwire Press - 2012-13.
Openly Informatics - Bloomfield, NJ.
Juno Online Services.
Parking Reform Network - member, 2023-present.
Build Small Coalition, Oregon - member, and online media manager (2021-present) for advocacy network convened by Oregon Department of Land Conservation, & Development
Alternative Shelter Network, Portland - member, and online media manager (2022-present).
Tiny House Industry Association - founding member, Communications committee.
Portland: Neighbors Welcome - founded Homelessness and Low-Income committee (2019-2020).
Portland Village Coalition (2016-2021).
YIMBY Alliance (
Bay Area Renters Federation
An Apology for the Builder: Barbon's 1685 Manifesto, and the Rise of Projectable Urbanism. editor and co-author, with SF YIMBY founder Sonja Trauss. To be published by YIMBY Press, Fall 2021, funded by grant from Emergent Ventures (at Mercatus Center, George Mason University).
Village Buildings: West Coast Housing from the Bottom Up and Outside In.
in collaboration with the Village Collaborative network.
Southern California Association of Governments - $560,000 contract award, as part of team with Woodsong Associates (2021).
California Air Resources Board - $350,000 contract award, as part of team with Woodsong Associates. (2021).
Emergent Ventures / Mercatus Center - Fast Grants.
($5,000 grant to Sonja Trauss, for book project An Apology for the Builder which I am editing and co-writing).
Better Boulder - $18,000 to develop HousingWiki (originally YIMBYwiki).
Institute for the Future conference, Oakland - grant to support construction and exhibit of Houslets prototype unit, 2016 (?).
Market Street Prototyping Festival - $5,000 to support exhibit of Houslets prototype.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Futures Cities conference/exhibit.
Knight Foundation - Knight Cities program - $40,000 (2014).
IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Studies, a US Federal Agency), 21st Century Library grant, $24,000,
Adrian van Sinderen Book Collecting Prize, Yale University - $1000, 1997.
Oregon Cooperative Housing Network - led proposal to Meyer Memorial Trust, 2021 Annual Funding Opportunity, for $35,000 grant to establish a research, education, and advocacy network.
[this application led to creation of a fiscally-sponsored nonprofit organization, of which I am Director, under Portland's Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods. We may rename/relaunch it as the legal and fiscal structure for planned, wider-scope, Housing Alternatives Network].
New Starter Homes - led proposal to Meyer Memorial Trust, Million Month Challenge grant program, 2018, with Portland Village Coalition. To create a network of city-supported, very low-cost, redeployable, ownable cottage housing for extremely low-income Portlanders.
Dec 14, 2022. "Housing From the Bottom Up." Invited talk at Mental Health Alliance, Portland.
Nov 19, 2022: "Vehicles as Housing, Housing as Vehicle."
talk at 2022 National Vehicle Residency Summit (Nov 18-19), hosted by National Homelessness Law Center. Video and presentation slides at: https://tmccormick.org/writing/vehicles-as-housing.
July 29 2022: Invited guest & co-host for Stay Open / StayDAO Twitter Spaces event "Do Good, Feel Good," discussing decentralized, community 'DAO' (Distributed Autonomous Organization) models for non-profits, helping unhoused & underhoused people, & building experimental venture StayDAO to explore how.
Guest lecturer & critic at Pacific Northwest College of Arts, Collaborative Design graduate program, 2020-21.
PDX Shelter Forum 4: "Alternative Housing & Shelter: Request for Public Involvement". Organized, moderated, and spoke at this public online forum, featuring Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, LA homeless advocate General Jeff, and village movement leader Mark Lakeman. http://forum4.pdxshelterforum.org.
January 27, 2021: "Incremental Building and Organizing": mini-talk at PDX Shelter Forum 3, "SquareOne Villages: community land trusts and limited-equity co-ops", which I also co-organized and moderated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6H1QOwGmgA.
PDX Shelter Forum 2.
Co-organized, moderated, and spoke at. http://forum2.pdxshelterforum.org
PDX Shelter Forum, 1st event, June 25, 2020 - presentation, panel moderation.
Event video: https://youtu.be/lqwpbKvks34.
Conference speaker, consultant, grantee, exhibitor, for Institute For The Future, Palo Alto, CA.
2014 – 2016
I Annotate conferences - Social Scholar presentation, etc.
"Houslets: simple, mobile, modular building in available space." invited talk at event “Hack the Housing Crisis," organized by San Francisco Public Press, June 13, 2014.
“Smarter Social-Media Tools for Scientists.”
presentation, with Marie Boran of University of Galway, at Spot On London (formerly Science Online London) conference, Nature Publishing Group, London.
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKD7NV_TUmY. (53:40).
"Healthier Information: using Quantified Self methods to address information anxiety." Quantified Self conference, Google HQ, March 28, 2012. (5-minute "PechaKucha" / lighting-talk format).
Video: http://vimeo.com/40245734. (15mins).
[note I field a probing first question from counterculture / Silicon Valley icon Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of Wired magazine, and a former editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review].
Ida B Wells-Barnett (formerly Wilson) High School commencement address, May 1992.
"We’re Wildly Underestimating the Potential Of Mobile Housing." Sightline Institute invited article, September 9, 2022.
"The Parable of the Knife: or, when to buy expensive things you may not need." Medium, October 28, 2021..
"The houseless vs the settlement: interview with Willamette Week." Medium, May 14, 2021.
on Portland's increasingly heated, fractious homelessness policy battles.
"A New Pattern Language: Homelessness." Medium, May 20, 2021.
A book/platform project concept, developed from a Twitter thread.
"Loving, Learning, Leaving LA: a chat with the LA Times." Medium, May 9, 2021.
January 19, 2021
Letter to Portland Tribune about announced closure of Hazelnut Grove village.
"Art of the Actual: a Modest Proposal for Housing Reform by Results."
[fully automated luxury abundant California housing, the easy way]. Medium, December 20, 2020.
"Portland protest war zone, open city." Medium, Jul 17, 2020.
"Dunkin’ out for the territory: in search of a Boston icon."
Cultural history and analysis of Dunkin' Donuts, along with observations from September visit to Boston and Roxbury. Medium, Oct 22, 2018.
"The New Urban Autonomous House." November 2017, updated August 22, 2018.
"You can’t take it with you: fleeing the fires." on Medium.
[from October 2017, during the North Bay / Northern California wildfires]. May 5, 2018
"13 Ways of Looking for Yreka: a toolkit for appreciating (any) place." Medium, May 24, 2016.
"Roadside Architecture Contraptions: a prefab housing tour of Willits, California." on Medium, Nov 21, 2015.
"Tiny Houses for the Homeless in San Francisco?" Medium, November 18, 2015.
"Creative shelter approaches could help the unhoused and nomadic amid the housing crisis, and open us to new approaches. But it’s a contested and controversial space — let’s pilot artfully."
November 3, 2015
"How might we put affordable housing on disused & small sites in San Francisco?"
"Housing fix? Think small.” (original title: "Lean Urbanism for Silicon Valley housing"). Silicon Valley Business Journal, March 14, 2014.
https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/print-edition/2014/03/14/affordable-housing-solution-think-small.html. (archived PDF: https://tjm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/P30_VP.pdf).
"Another Design is Possible: 10 Contrarian Design Patterns & Projects."
October 19, 2013
"From reading drift to reading flow: how to reclaim focus (and self)."
Posted on September 9, 2013
2 essays on living without mobile phone service (after moving to Silicon Valley) in ReadWrite Web.
"Six paths to a global Open Access Repository." tjm.org, June 2, 2013. https://tjm.org/2013/06/02/six-ideas-for-a-global-open-access-repository/.
"Collaborative Argumentation and Advocacy."
June 1, 2013 https://tjm.org/2013/06/01/collaborative-argumentation-and-advocacy/.
McCormick, Tim (2013). “From Monograph to Multigraph: the Distributed Book.” LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog, January 17, 2013. [originally published on tjm.org].
"The objects in my life: ‘useless stuff’ versus perfect things." essay series, 2009.
Institute for the Future conference, Oakland.
Maker Faires - exhibitor at several of the global Maker Faires (San Mateo, CA), also Mini-Maker Faire, Oakland.
UCSF social innovation conference.
San Francisco Market Street Prototyping Festival - exhibitor and grantee.
Sep 2014 – Apr 2015
Designed, built, and exhibited grant-funded exhibit "ProtoHouse" in 2015 Prototyping Festival. The 8x16-foot pop-up dwelling unit was prefabricated, and set up overnight on a sidewalk plaza on Market Street in San Francisco's financial district for three-day public festival.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts - Futures Cities conference/exhibit.
Vehicle Residency Summit
I am helping to organize this 1st national Vehicle Residency public summit, as a member of the organizing committee and also the Lived Experience group. Co-hosted by the National Homelessness Law Center, and UCSF Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative.
PDX Shelter Forum
I co-organize, speak, moderate, and manage all digital aspects for this online event series begun in May 2020.
Forum 4: "Alternative Housing & Shelter: Request for Public Involvement".
Forum 3, January 27, 2021:
"SquareOne Villages: community land trusts and limited-equity co-ops"
Forum 2: "Learning from Seattle"
Forum 1, June 25, 2020 - presentation, panel moderation.
Event video: https://youtu.be/lqwpbKvks34.
Hosts were Interfaith Alliance on Poverty, and Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods.
Stanford Media X - helped organize conference 2013.
[add KPTV feature & article on Cascadia Clusters, from Spring 2023]
December 15, 2020.
"The Village Alternative: Andrew Heben and Tim McCormick Have a Democratic Solution to Houselessness."
interview/feature by Portland journalist Thacher Schmid, commissioned by The Sun magazine but ended up being published on Thacher's site Poor for a Minute. Incorporated as Ch.1 in my collaborative book project, Village Buildings: West Coast housing from the bottom up and outside in. (https://VillageBuildings.housing.wiki).
"Our Portland" podcast (from Portland Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone)
Jan 21, 2020 podcast, regarding her Housing For All platform. I presented my proposed "New Starter Homes" program for a city-wide, low-cost, affordable housing 'fleet' of movable homes.
also at: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bK6M93HQ8wgHl44XVSaB_ew-rO74MgQz.
December 31, 2015.
Schuffman, Stuart (aka Broke-Ass Stuart). "New concepts emerging to address homelessness." San Francisco Examiner, December 31, 2015.
Report on Saint Francis Homelessness Challenge, it's showcase event January 2, and the RouteHome low-cost housing prototype co-developed by Houslets.
Wadsworth, Jen. "Small but Mighty Tiny, modular homes are a big idea"
The (North Bay) Bohemian. Jun 3, 2015. https://bohemian.com/small-but-mighty-1/.
"32 civic innovators receive $5 million in funding in first Knight Cities Challenge"
Knight Foundation. Mar 31, 2015
Lindsay, Greg. "S.F. Is Getting Musical Walls, 'Data Lanterns' and Street Furniture Made of Mushrooms." Next City, Mar 19, 2015
Schiller, Ben. "A Tiny Modular Housing System For Cities Where Real Housing Is Too Expensive To Afford." Fast Company, Feb 26, 2015. https://www.fastcompany.com/3042728/a-tiny-modular-housing-system-for-cities-where-real-housing-is-too-expensive-to-afford.
Wadsworth, Jennifer. "Tiny Homes Present Big Ideas for Transforming Urban Ecosystems. "Metro Silicon Valley, Feb 19, 2015. https://www.sanjoseinside.com/news/tiny-homes-present-big-ideas-for-transforming-urban-ecosystems/.
"Bay Area Man Envisions Small Living Spaces To Relieve Housing Crisis"
CBS San Francisco, 6pm news, Feb 19, 2015.
"One solution to SF’s housing crisis: microhomes." San Francisco Examiner. Dec 5, 2014
Brosnahan, Cori. "Housing Solution: Allow Off-the-Shelf Homes in San Francisco’s Underused Spaces." San Francisco Public Press, Jun 13, 2014.
"Two Bay Area designers are re-imagining the home as a simple consumer good. If they and other entrepreneurs are successful, San Francisco’s marginal land — including parking spaces — could be retrofitted to accommodate hundreds or thousands of these movable living spaces.
"Project Aims to Bring PLoS-Style Openness to the Humanities."
The Chronicle of Higher Education. Jan 29, 2013
interviewed for this front-page feature about Open Library of Humanities, in the leading academic-world news source. "'I have the sense there's a lot of unfulfilled idealism out there, a lot of academics living in fear. One thing we want to do is to tap into the wish people have to do something new and better, not just fix a problem.'"
Arieff, Allison. “How Small Is Too Small?" New York Times. October 19, 2012:
Sophia Maalsen, University of Sydney. For "Hacking Housing" research project. (December 2021).
Street Roots - Christen McCurdy - 2021.
Willamette Week - Sophie Peel - 2021.
Willamette Week - Latisha Jensen - 2021.
The Oregonian - Molly Harbarger - 2020.
June 1, 2023 - OR House Rules Committee, on zoning variance legislation
Testimony at Oregon Legislature's House Rules Committee, June 1 2023, on #HB3414 which would limit local governments scope to block building variance requests
(Video - 2.5mins, starting at 1:30:20).
May 30, 2023 - Portland City Council hearing on new camping ban
May 10, 2023 - Multnomah County (Portland) FY24 Budget Hearing
April 19, 2023 - Portland City Council
"From Pods to PADs: Incremental Housing for Portland": testimony & proposal for Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites program. Video & written testimony.
March 22, 2023 - Portland Mayor's event on "Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites" program.
February 7, 2023 - Oregon House Committee on Housing and Homelessness
"Cut your coat according to your cloth": a regular saying of my Irish Catholic mother, suggested here as a principle for creating housing for all expeditiously. In public hearing for Oregon's new statewide housing planning system. Written testimony
October 26, 2022 - Portland City Council hearing on homelessness ordinances
"Creating housing from & for the bottom up: for the most immediate needs, with the most immediate means, then upbuilding." Video.
October 3, 2022 - Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
"Planning for unforeseen, abundant, and radical housing": public comment on, Oregon Housing Needs Analysis Draft Recommendations Report.
Jan 17, 2022 - California Interagency Council on Homelessness
At the inaugural meeting of CAL ICH (new State of California council analogous to the federal USICH, I gave comments and proposed a "Housing Leaderboard" to list, compare, incubate, share, housing approaches/projects that are faster, better, lower cost.
Video (2:13:52 - 2:15:04); submitted text.
Dec 14, 2021 - Portland Planning & Sustainability Commission
Movable cottages! How to enable wide-scale, highly affordable ($20k+), ownable, movable homes in Portland. Public testimony, representing Housing Alternatives Network.
Video (at 54:10, 3mins); written version.
Dec 1, 2021: Multnomah County, A Home For Everyone
Public comment: Who/what does the Board represent, and how might be build a system of real political representation and power for the houseless?
Video (at 1:53:02). See also transcript & related research: https://homelessorganizations.housing.wiki
Nov 16, 2021: Multnomah County, A Home For Everyone, Safety Off the Streets Workgroup.
"how would we build real political representation for the unhoused?"
Nov 11, 2021: Portland City Council, Fall budget revision hearing.
"What I see in this budget is a huge expansion of street cleanup and policing, but still no provision of safe, legal places for people to be, at anywhere near the scale of need." 1st public comment.
Video (at 2:00:02, 3 mins).
Nov 3, 2021: Multnomah County, A Home For Everyone, Coordinating Board meeting.
Public comment on proposed city/county mid-year budget revision.
Video (at 26:18, 2mins).
Oct 6 2021 - AHFE Coordinating Board
Video (at 29:55 - 31:55).
Fall 2021 - Multnomah County, 2022 Budget Hearing #1
"How well do our Mayor's & County Chair's 2022 budget proposals listen & respond well to houseless voices? Video (1:13:22-).
April 14, 2021 - Portland City Council
In support of the Shelter to Housing Continuum code reform project, also responding to preceding remarks by Dr. Marisa Zapata of Portland State University. "Center & presume validity of the most powerless, needy, marginalized, & affected." Including exchange with Portland mayor Ted Wheeler, in which he asks for link to my housing program proposals New Starter Homes (NewStarterHomes.housing.wiki). Video (45:42 - 50:48).
April 7, 2021 - Portland City Council.
On how new Outdoor Shelter forms & Tiny House/RV residence allowance, in recent Shelter to Housing Reforms, could & should now be extended for wide-scale evolvability to low-cost, "permanent village" permanent housing, in current Residential Infill Project Part 2 project. Video.
March 7, 2021 - Portland City Council
"Pharaohs! let my housing go, that my people may dwell." Advocacy for movable, shared, village housing, in landmark Shelter to Housing Continuum reform. youtu.be/LdZebruzSBw
Various - to Portland City Council, Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, Multnomah County Board of Commissioner (Budget hearing), etc.
January 6, 2021 - AHFE Coordinating Board.
Spoken testimony at A Home For Everyone, Coordinating Board (Portland / Multnomah County's homelessness oversight board). https://youtu.be/SD1NCRjpLT4?t=844 (14:04 - 15:36).
see also reply/concurring response from County Commissioner Sharon Meieran at 1:27:23: https://youtu.be/SD1NCRjpLT4?t=5243.
October 28, 2020 - Portland City Council
Testimony at Fall BUMP (midyear budget amendment meeting), with response from Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. https://youtu.be/UscNU90Jp6w?t=5171 (public testifier #7, starting at 1:26:11).
February 25, 2020 - Metro Council (Portland regional government)
written public testimony, for hearing on proposed $250M/year "Supportive Housing Services" (formerly, "Homeless Services"!) tax measure. full letter PDF: https://tjm.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Tim-McCormick-testimony-on-Homeless-Services-Measure.pdf.
February 15, 2020 - Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
written public testimony to, regarding a program to facilitate affordable housing on properties of faith- and community-based organizations. (letter: https://www.portlandmaps.com/bps/testimony/item.cfm...). While city officials are mostly thinking about long-term, conventional housing projects, many people at the hearing brought up nearer-term, alternative housing.
August 28, 2018 - State of Oregon, Building Codes Division, Salem
Spoken testimony in support of 2018 “Reach Code.” This is a proposed new code section to allow “flexibility to permit innovative approaches”: Section II would authorize less-than-400 square foot mobile and/or anchorable tiny houses. Room full of builders, local officials, advocates/volunteers for the unhoused including several from SquareOne Villages, tiny-house owners and aspiring.
November 21, 2017 - Cupertino City Council
video testimony in support of retaining the housing planned for a major development in Cupertino, California (former #Vallco mall site).
February 18, 2016 - Portland City Council
spoken testimony at in support of Right 2 Dream village.
https://youtu.be/NM-WE20hDz8?t=11903 (3:18:25 - 3:21:00).
see tmccormick.org/projects for a complete & retrospective list.