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Small Designer Homes on Odd Lots Offers New Model For Urban Development

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A traditional gateway to homeownership, the starter homes of the past offered a simple, mass-produced route to owning property. But in challenging urban markets such as New Orleans, with rising housing prices and a lack of undeveloped land, simple, straightforward and affordable housing can be in short supply, especially for first-time owners. A new infill concept by a local architect seeks to find a solution to this big problem with a series of singular, small homes.

The Starter Home concept devised by architect Jonathan Tate, his boutique design firm, and developer Charles Rutledge, offers a modern riff on the old model of cookie-cutter designs and tract housing. By building on tiny, often overlooked city lots, their program seeks to use the challenge presented by unorthodox sites as an inspiration to design unique, affordable, and modern urban housing. With one home completed and dozens on the way, Tate and his team are attempting to solve a host of urban housing woes using undeveloped real estate hidden in plain sight.

"We can do high design and speculative development at the same time," Tate says. "And we can right-size the home, and provide more availability"

More photos of the Starter Home concept at Curbed National >>