By Jeremy Ross

(CBS) — It’s a home the size of city studio apartment, and Chicago officials say they might help with homelessness and affordable housing.

CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reports.

Eithne McMenamin, who is with the advocacy group Pride Action Tank, is leading the effort to introduce “tiny homes” to Chicago.

She offers a tour of a 330-square-foot prototype, which includes a full-sized bathroom and kitchen appliances.

The purpose is to house the poor and homeless.

“It’s one more tool we will have in our tool box to address the crisis of affordable housing,” McMenamin says.

She estimates building these tiny homes would cost a fraction of traditional affordable housing.

Aldermen like Ed Burke (14th Ward) are taking notice. “Should we talk about it? Why not?” he says.

Another Alderman, Ray Lopez (15th), is looking for vacant city lots to build about a dozen of the homes.

McMenamin stresses they’re not for everyone or every community, and they would only be built in neighborhoods where they’re welcome.

“We really just want to add to the menu of options,” she says.

Similar project are getting results in places like Portland.

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