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Tiny Homes with a Purpose: Tulane Students Build and Design Affordable Housing Solutions


In an era marked by escalating housing costs and income disparities, a group of Tulane University students has embarked on a transformative project to address the pressing need for affordable housing in their community. Inspired by the growing popularity of tiny homes as a viable alternative to traditional housing, these students have dedicated their time and resources to designing and building these compact yet functional dwellings.

Genesis of the Project

The project emerged from a collaboration between the Tulane City Center and the Tulane School of Architecture. Recognizing the severe housing shortage faced by New Orleans residents, particularly those living in underprivileged communities, these institutions joined forces to empower students to create tangible solutions to this pressing issue.

Design and Construction

The students, guided by experienced faculty mentors, meticulously planned and executed the design and construction of their tiny homes. They meticulously selected sustainable materials, maximizing space efficiency while prioritizing functionality and aesthetics.

Each tiny home is approximately 240 square feet, featuring a loft, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a living area. The ingenious design incorporates innovative features such as built-in furniture, concealed storage spaces, and abundant natural light.

Community Impact

The students' endeavor extends beyond the construction of mere structures. They envision their tiny homes as catalysts for social and economic transformation within the community. The homes will be offered to low-income families through rent-to-own programs, providing them with a pathway to homeownership.

Furthermore, the project empowers the students with valuable hands-on experience in architecture, construction, and community outreach. They collaborate closely with local organizations to identify potential homeowners and ensure that the tiny homes meet the specific needs of the community.

Partnerships and Collaborations

To bring their vision to fruition, the students have forged partnerships with various entities. Habitat for Humanity New Orleans provides expertise in affordable housing construction, while the Green Project provides guidance on sustainable building practices.

Additionally, community organizations such as the New Orleans Affordable Housing Fund and the Louisiana Housing Corporation lend their support by connecting the students with potential homeowners and providing financial assistance.

Community Engagement and Outreach

The students actively engage with the community to create awareness about the project and its objectives. They host workshops to educate residents about the benefits of tiny homes and their role in addressing the housing crisis.

Furthermore, they collaborate with local schools and community centers to inspire the next generation of architects and builders. By fostering a sense of ownership and community pride, they aim to create a lasting impact on the lives of those they serve.

Future Prospects and Expansion

The Tulane Tiny Home Project is more than just a one-time endeavor. It serves as a blueprint for future affordable housing initiatives, both within the New Orleans community and beyond.

The students envision expanding the project by designing and building additional tiny homes to meet the growing demand for affordable housing. They plan to partner with other universities and organizations to replicate the project model in other cities facing similar challenges.


The Tulane Tiny Home Project stands as a testament to the transformative power of ingenuity, collaboration, and community engagement. By harnessing the creativity and enthusiasm of students, the project offers a sustainable and equitable solution to the affordable housing crisis.

Through their tireless efforts, the students at Tulane University have not only built tiny homes but have also constructed a beacon of hope for a future where everyone has access to safe, affordable, and dignified housing.

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