The Rise Of The Katrina Cottage

<p>The Katrina Cottage, designed as an alternative to the ubiquitous post-Katrina FEMA trailer, is now gaining popularity nationwide as both an affordable housing solution and a quaint vacation cottage."</p>
September 1, 2007, 11am PDT | Mike Lydon
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"Two years ago, New York City architect Marianne Cusato designed a pretty, little yellow house she envisioned as an alternative to the dreary, government-issued trailers that were sheltering tens of thousands of people along the Gulf Coast displaced by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Her 308-square-foot "Katrina Cottage," had shutters, a peaked tin roof and a front porch, in keeping with traditional Southern sensibilities. Resistant to rot, termites and water damage, it was designed to withstand winds of up to 130 mph. It cost less than the Federal Emergency Management Agency's $70,000 camperlike trailers and could be used as a permanent home and added onto later.

'I wanted to create a more dignified version of the FEMA trailer,' Cusato told Cottage Living magazine. 'The Katrina Cottage shows how we can create beautiful and affordable homes that give people a place of pride.'

What Cusato didn't envision is that people around the country, not just those holed up in trailers along the Gulf Coast, would clamor for a Katrina Cottage of their own. That's what happened after a prototype of her cottage debuted at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla., in January 2006."

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Published on Thursday, August 30, 2007 in Asbury Park Press
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