Remember That Katrina Cottages Thing? Whatever Happened to That?

Katrina Cottages held such great promise 10 years ago, as an alternative to FEMA trailers. But a host of roadblocks stood in the way. After a decade, has the tiny house time arrived?

1 minute read

August 11, 2015, 6:00 AM PDT

By Hazel Borys


"This is the anniversary month of that mega-storm, which struck the Gulf States on August 29, 2005. So it’s as good a time as any to look back on what we’ve learned since, especially when it comes to safe, appealing, affordable housing."

Ben Brown was involved from the beginning in the Katrina Cottage movement, along with Andres Duany, Susan Henderson, Marianne Cusato, Steve Mouzon, and Bruce Tolar. Brown goes into a short history of the movement, and asks the hard questions about why it wasn't more successful.

"Moving zoning towards form-based codes and housing towards Katrina Cottage neighborhoods 'would have been tough in a lot of these communities even before the storm,' says Joe Cloyd. 'Immediately after Katrina, when leaders were constrained by all the stuff right in front of them, thinking about a Smart Code overlay or some other big policy change was just asking too much.'"

Monday, August 10, 2015 in PlaceShakers

Ornate, tan stone capitol building with a gold dome roof and low-rise city buildings in the background.

States Are Banning Guaranteed Income Programs

Four states now have laws in place that prevent cities and counties from creating or continuing guaranteed income programs, and several more have tried or are trying.

May 23, 2024 - Bloomberg CityLab

Aerial view of Oceanwide Plaza skyscrapers covered with graffiti tags.

LA’s Abandoned Towers Loom as a “$1.2 Billion Ruin of Global Capital”

Oceanwide Plaza, shuttered mid-construction after its developer filed for bankruptcy, has stood vacant on prime Los Angeles real estate since 2019.

May 21, 2024 - The Architect's Newspaper

Close-up of electric stove range with front burners red-hot.

California Cities Suspend Natural Gas Bans Following Court Ruling

A Ninth Circuit court ruling forced Berkeley to reverse its ban on natural gas in new buildings, prompting other cities to suspend their own efforts to promote all-electric buildings.

May 28, 2024 - East Bay Times

Aerial view of downtown Auburn, Indiana on a clear, sunny day.

Study: Indiana Regional Planning Project Pays Off

The Regional Cities Initiative funded economic development projects and capacity building to help local agencies collaborate more effectively to promote growth.

48 minutes ago - Ball State University

Colorful vacant, boarded-up two-story rowhouses in East Baltimore, Maryland.

States Move to Limit ‘Squatters’ Rights’

A wave of new legislation targets people who reside illegally in properties they don’t own.

1 hour ago - Smart Cities Dive

BART heavy rail train on elevated track pulling into Concord, CA station with cloudy sky and trees in background.

Bay Area Transit Projects Awarded $18 Million

The funding supports eight ‘near-term’ projects slated for completion within the next one to three years.

May 29 - Contra Costa Herald

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.