Actor Brad Pitt’s post-Hurricane Katrina recovery organization will mark the devastating storm’s 10th anniversary next week by unveiling a model of a high-tech, energy-efficient microhouse that will sell for less than $100,000.
The 430-square-foot, two-story home — measuring 28-by-12.5 feet inside — squeezes in a loft bedroom, a laundry room, a kitchen and storage space. It includes rooftop solar panels and energy-efficient appliances chosen to shave the occupant's power bills, Jordan Pollard, design and development manager for Pitt’s organization Make It Right, told the Times-Picayune.
The tiny house — which marks the 109th home built by the Make It Right organization — will be occupied by a New Orleans teacher.
The nonprofit will incorporate similar small homes into future development of the Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood it is helping rebuild in New Orleans, according to Pollard.
"To be able to own a brand new home for under $100,000 is pretty rare. That's a pretty attractive monthly mortgage note. It's in conflict with the McMansion mentality, but it makes sense," he said.
The introduction of tiny homes into communities targeted for affordable housing is becoming commonplace across the country.
In Nashville, for example, another nonprofit has plans to build a village of microhomes for the homeless, a local television station reported this week.
Those homes measure only 60 square feet and will be built onto trailer beds because the city does not allow permanent homes so small.
Tiny homes have spawned a movement of advocates who promote the dwellings for their affordability, small environmental footprint and nod to a minimalist lifestyle. The dwellings also are quick to build: Pollard said if the New Orleans home is finished by Aug. 29 as expected, it will have been designed and built in just one month.