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Katrina Cottages Not Welcome in Mississippi

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Although over 900 families along the Mississippi coast have already moved into the so-called Katrina Cottages, according to this piece, “Post-Katrina cottages get a lukewarm welcome,” all is not well. The cottages, which you’ll remember won Marianne Cusato the Cooper-Hewitt’s People’s Design Award last year, are being kept out by communities that don’t want them to bring down the property value of their recovering neighborhoods:

“The Mississippi cottage is a trailer — except that instead of coming in through the side, you come in through the front,” said Jim Thriffiley, president of the Bay St. Louis City Council, which has approved 69 applications for cottages and rejected many more. “We don’t want the stigma of these homes in our community.”

The state is moving to have all cottages removed by 2009, but there’s no way that all the people who need housing will be back in permanent homes by then, officials say. Besides, the cottages were designed to be a permanent solution, if needed, so Cusato is taking steps to resolve both issues by designing cottage communities. And although detractors are trying so hard to call them glorified trailers, that’s sure not how they’re being marketed at Lowe’s.

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