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Katrina cottages could become permanent residences in Oxford

 

The cottages used as temporary housing for Katrina victims in 2005 may now become permanent residences in Oxford.

Tim Akers of the Oxford Planning Commission said the small houses, called Katrina Cottages, were built as a response to the housing crisis in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina after the storm left many homeless.

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency auctioned off some of the Katrina cottages around the state in February of 2011, and in June of 2011, one of the cottages was placed in a residential community in Oxford. On June 21, the city placed a moratorium, or 90-day suspension, on the placement of the cottages.

“Due to the availability of these small houses, the city wanted to have time to review their development standards to insure that their placement in neighborhoods would be compatible with surround uses,”Akers said. “Limiting the minimum size of dwelling units by zoning district helps to accomplish those ends.”

Akers said that because the Katrina Cottages are essentially small houses, they are treated like any other dwelling in the city, and therefore, students are eligible to buy or rent the cottages. 

The website of the organization in charge of the Katrina Cottages said that while the cottages are used for camps, beach houses, hunting lodges and guest cottages, they are reasonably priced and available as primary housing as well.

Most of the cottages are small one, two or three bedroom houses and can range from 500 to 1,600 square feet, although the Katrina Tiny Cottage can be less than 500 square feet, and the Katrina Double Cottage can be up to 2,000 square feet.

If there are no further issues with the cottages, the moratorium will expire this month.