by , 03/08/06


At only 308-square-feet, this cute yellow house known as the Katrina Cottage grew out of the unique housing crisis facing the Gulf Coast. With four different variations based on the vernacular architecture of the Gulf Coast region, complete with front porches that include built-in seating, each house is designed to shelter a family of four.

The design for Katrina Cottage evolved out of the Mississippi Renewal Forum, a design charrette organized by the Congress for the New Urbanism which brought together 200 professionals with the goal of developing design options for eleven communities along the Gulf Coast. One of the assignments of the Forum was to develop designs for affordable housing, which can be immediately put into place while respecting the place upon which it would be built. Costing only $35,000 to build, the Katrina Cottage has fulfilled that assignment. Built on site, or prefabricated and delivered, the Katrina Cottage is certainly a welcome alterative to the typical FEMA travel trailer, and will not cost a penny more.

Designed by cottage designer Marianne Cusato and architect Eric Moser, the Katrina Cottage can be sited to serve as a “Grow House” or a rear guest cottage when a new house is built on the lot, providing immediate sanctuary while giving way to a new life for those left shelterless on the Gulf Coast.

+ Marianne Cusato
+ Mississippi Renewal Forum
+ Mississippi Renewal Forum, on Inhabitat
+ Congress for the New Urbanism

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  1. markipsha June 29, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    We need an affordable mother-in-law cottage that can be put in our backyard, big enough for 2 people. We need it like YESTERDAY. We live in Salem, Oregon 97304 Polk County on approximately 1/3 acre. We are ready to buy NOW and want details. Hope to hear from you ASAP. Thank you.

  2. Emil February 14, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I love Katrina Cottages, and plan to build one on a remote farm property next year.

    In light of today’s hearing regarding the toxicity of FEMA trailers, now is a great time to push for these sorts of solutions in the Gulf. Of course the cottages would likely still use particleboard to contain costs, but this could be spec-ed out. It’s a shame the situation has resulted in potentially lifelong effects from these trailers, but then again FEMA knew this from the beginning, with complaints coming two years ago. Just another example of the disenfranchised getting shafted from all sides.

  3. sherry September 23, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    The building plans are around $700 and refundable when you buy the kit from Lowes. You must have a builder. Lowes sells a small booklet for less than $3.00 that shows all the different plans.

  4. k. whelchel September 6, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    You can find the katrina cottages at lowes or lowes.com. There $700.00 for the kit.

  5. christine July 24, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    It sounds like they come in a kit, but when you check on the Lowe’s website, it just sells you the blueprints for $700 – it says nothing about buying the kit. Basically, it sounds like you have to buy the plans and hire a builder anyway.

  6. Ashley June 21, 2007 at 10:29 am

    You can purchase one of these homes through Lowes. If you go to lowes.com and type in Katrina, all your info should be there.

  7. Ivy Dennis June 14, 2007 at 10:54 am

    I would like to know if these come premade and how I can purchase . I would like to purchase 5

  8. Dianne Richardson May 24, 2007 at 10:23 am

    How can these homes be purchased? Where can I view price estimates. We are looking at these homes for the Caribbean

  9. Liza Bontecou April 28, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    we are also very initerested in bying one of these adorable cottages. Please can you help us.

  10. Mike Robinson January 23, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    For those located in the Northeast, and are interested in a Katrina Style Cottage home, We can provide such, requires a 4 week build process. Seems small home living has hit a chord!!! Ironic in a time of McMansions.

  11. Inhabitat » TOP 1... December 31, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    […] 2. HURRICANE KATRINA’S AFTERMATH In the wake of such a large-scale and devastating natural disaster, we’ve seen designers respond to Hurricane Katrina through a variety of inspiring projects, initiatives, and competitions. From the New Urbanists’ $35,000 Katrina Cottage to a slew of design competitions including Global Green’s GreeNOLA initiative and Architectural Record’s Designing the Future of New Orleans competition, designers, architects, and non-profits have joined forces to produce some truly innovative and humanitarian projects. […]

  12. Evelyn November 28, 2006 at 11:08 am

    Thanks to all of those who have been reading. For those of you interested in finding out more regarding the Katrina Cottage, I suggest contacting the designer directly. Her link can be found above.


  13. Carol Zilinsky November 28, 2006 at 9:46 am

    I am always evacuated because i live on the beach. Have considered getting a trailor, but this would be better…Very Interested…

  14. Christine November 19, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    I’d really like to see a series on the interiors of the multiple Katrina Cottages (ie I, II…VII).
    Do you have any idea where I can find this?

  15. Fred Chanteau November 6, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    Can these be bought as built and shipped or can one purchase the plans? Thanks.


  16. amy lou stein October 25, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    AWESOME…looks like a beautiful pad.

  17. Andreas Paulsen October 23, 2006 at 5:43 pm

    And how many have been sold? How many have been “given away”? How many are available?
    IS there a special deal for those people who are retired and on Social Security? Availability is the
    answer, yes it’s nice, practical and it comes in “my” color. So where do we turn to get one??
    Tell me, where??

  18. Peter October 23, 2006 at 1:08 pm

    I would like to buy one too, as an addition to my house. How can I do so?

  19. Nedra Travis March 21, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    I’m very interested into buying one of this models. In Louisiana on my lot of 26×31. Please contact me at 5049053006

  20. Nedra Travis March 21, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    I’m very interested into buying one of this models. In Louisiana on my lot of 26×31.

  21. ROBERT ADAMS M.D. March 21, 2006 at 6:19 pm


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