CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago aldermen are exploring the idea of building small homes as a way to reduce the number of homeless people on the city’s streets.

Advocates want to build what are called “tiny homes,” about the size of studio apartments, on vacant lands and offer those houses to the homeless.

Ald. Edward Burke, who chairs the city council finance committee, thinks this could be one way of giving the homeless actual homes.

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“These tiny houses afford a level of privacy unavailable in crowded, and often dangerous, homeless shelters,” Burke said. “They’re free to residents with the understanding that they will assist in routine maintenance and cleanup.”

Other aldermen expressed strong support, but note that not all homeless people will want to, or be able, to live in such homes, and policies of the city must allow for various approaches.