Stuart Monk

According to the Miami Herald the 4,000 homes destroyed in the Florida Keys by Hurricane Irma in 2017 have never been fully replenished, which is adding to the state's housing woes. Many of the homes lost were mobile homes, and Monroe County officials who have jurisdiction over all the Keys, would like to see them replaced with something sturdier. They've started a pilot program to take a look at code-compliant tiny homes.

The 400-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom home will be on display for about a year so the county can gauge interest from potential buyers and renters. But the county expects it and similar homes to sell for around $85,000, Livengood said. “They’ll be open for people to look at to see if they want them for their property,” she said.

The county owns the Jenny Lane lot, as well as three others throughout the county on which it hopes to build similar small houses. More than $656,490 was approved for the projects in 2018.

The county last year solicited companies to design and build different prototype small homes for the project. The Key Largo house was built by Cornerstone Tiny Homes, based in Longwood, Florida.

Another Florida company, RAS Engineering in Hallandale Beach, designed plans, and is in the permitting stage, for an elevated “container-type tiny home” that is expected to go up in Big Pine Key later this year, Livengood said. Two other companies submitted plans to design and build similar homes for the county, but have since backed out, she said. “The county may reissue a solicitation to build another tiny home project later this year,” Livengood said.

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