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Brad Pitt Bringing Tiny Homes to New Orleans?

According to this article by Heather Cha at Yahoo Makers, Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation is partnering with FYI’s Tiny House Nation to build their first tiny house in New Orleans.

Brad Pitt founded the Make It Right Foundation in 2007 with the purpose of providing affordable housing for people and communities in need. This particular tiny home project is set to sell for under $100,000. It measures 28-by-12.5 feet and offers about 430 sq. ft. of interior space.

The team is working hard to finish the tiny home by August 28th and a local school teacher will be moving into it. What do you think of the Make It Right foundation building tiny in New Orleans? Pretty cool, right? Either way please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Brad Pitt Bringing Tiny Homes to New Orleans?

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Images © Make It Right Foundation

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Images © Make It Right Foundation

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 45 comments… add one }
  • August 24, 2015, 2:28 pm

    Great! The exterior looks very cool and much larger than 430 sq ft. It would be nice to see these smaller homes catch on with mainstream America. Once people see how liveable the smalelr homes can be and how much less stress and work they take, who knows? They may become the norm!

    • Bob
      August 24, 2015, 6:09 pm

      Not for a $100,000! Wayyyy too much. 50 grand and less and they will go like hot cakes. A much fairer price!

      • Jodie Dew
        August 25, 2015, 7:30 pm

        After just building my own in the city.mm29x28…let me be the first to assure u that it costs A LOT MORE to meet city codes tap fees permit fees etc…I had budgeted 55000 but after having to meet codes fees etc I came n at just over 100000

        • Jodie Dew
          August 25, 2015, 7:42 pm

          As someone who just built a 20×28 small home I am here to tell u that the extra costs involved as in plumbing hvac electrical permits land improvements tap fees etc…people foget to include all that when they complain abt how much it costs…I had under $100 sq ft WITHOUT the cost of the land fees taps permits blueprints…etc etc…by the time I added all that in it almost doubles ur cost.

      • Bob
        August 25, 2015, 8:08 pm

        Didn’t think about that. I can get all that where I live for $500. My town is 100,000 population. But my town is very conservative, unlike NO. If NO doesn’t change then they will never amount to anything. Sad. A liberal onclave in a very conservative state. Oh well, they have to congregate somewhere.

        • Jodie Dew
          August 25, 2015, 8:31 pm

          Not sure of the size of my city but my tap fees alone were over $5000!!…blueprints $2000…permits over $1000…land improvements alone were almost $5000…and plumbing expenses!!! Omg they cost damn near the most!! And thats not labor just supplies!! I was blown away by all the “incidentals” ….

        • Bill Burgess
          August 26, 2015, 2:28 am

          Jodi I did one that bid at $134K in 2006 overlooking Hood Canal in the Puget Sound Washington that required $23,760 for permitting before a shovel could move ANY dirt. It was a half mile from salt water, in the least expensive County in Puget Sound for permitting. I have a $35 per square foot as minimum shell cost when I do estimates for my Park Model RV designs. ANYTHING over $100 per sq. ft. is NOT economical or low income.

        • lei
          August 27, 2015, 7:11 pm

          where the heck do you live bob =D

      • lei
        August 27, 2015, 7:09 pm

        I think the intent is beautiful however the sad fact is that $100K is still not an affordable reality for a large percentage and especially not the needy. it IS a nice tiny house.

  • -billS
    August 24, 2015, 3:27 pm

    $100K for 430 as. ft. is $233/as Dr. Average homes in New Orleans is under $100. is that affordable?

    • Jodie Dew
      August 25, 2015, 7:33 pm

      You r taking into account the land. ..land improvements. ..tap fees permits…etc…100000 is very reasonable even on .10 acre n a zoned area

  • W. Halyn
    August 24, 2015, 3:31 pm

    They could “make it righter” by doing what some locales have done… put the entire home onto a small barge-like base, so that the NEXT time it floods there, the house will simply float up on the water, instead of having the lower portion immersed if the water rises more than 3 feet. Saw a great design a couple years ago that had small homes on a barge-type flat pan with raised edges, with posts at intervals that, if the house began to float on incoming floodwaters, the posts would only allow it to rise or settle, and not drift away.
    Rather innovative, given the circumstances.

    • August 25, 2015, 3:19 pm

      Wow, thats an amazing, innovative idea. I hope they listen.

      • Jodie Dew
        August 25, 2015, 7:34 pm

        And very expensive and ya all r already complaining abt the cost

    • Bill Burgess
      August 27, 2015, 12:27 pm

      Allowing for the fact water in the oceans is gong to rise, I too think a flotation footing is where the new housing in the coastal areas should be focused. I am sure most of the structures could be built with closed cell SIP floor systems for less than site built foundation systems if done in a factory type setting. The problem is getting the Factory units down the streets in the French Quarter and other areas of the 9th ward. Of course a portable assembly structure would be the best solution in that area. 4Fathoms Designs on Facebook will have several of these Ideas soon.

      • Rob
        April 6, 2016, 4:48 pm

        This Old House did a project in that area. One of the segments showed how the posts ( which I assume were similar to this house ) were set. Those poles were something like 30-40 feet long. They used a pile driver to set them.

  • Lisa Lucas
    August 24, 2015, 3:44 pm

    I’d be interested in learning how the roofline of the house was constructed in order to stand up to hurricane force winds. It looks like a fly-off waiting to happen.

    • two crows
      August 24, 2015, 5:25 pm

      Agreed. I live in hurricane country [Florida] and, while hurricane straps are the norm in these parts, that overhang is bound to put a lot of stress on them. Maybe they had to overbuild and THAT accounts for the cost? But then why add that much roof in the first place?

      I originally was going to post something about the cost seeming rather extreme but I see a lot of folks beat me to it.

      I bought an existing small house [not as small as I wanted but as small as I could find and be legal] that needed work. Original cost was $45,000. Then I had to add another $15K just to get in the door. I’ve begun the work it needs and I’m nowhere near $100K at this point. And Saint Petersburg isn’t nearly as depressed as NOLA is, these days. The price seems excessive and that’s BEFORE the roof flies off.

      I’m glad NOLA is finally getting the attention it needs and deserves but I’m not sure this is a cost-effective tiny home. I hope it’s not because of Brad Pitt’s name and fame that it came in at that price tag.

      • Bill Burgess
        August 24, 2015, 5:56 pm

        Two Crows I agree. I did a French Quarter design with 400 sq.ft. bath and a half just for a lot in New Orleans that would blend in and say “French” and be almost wind proof. I am giving the designs away at 4Fathoms Designs on Facebook and selling books on these size Park Model RV’s at Amazon.com and e-Books at Blurb publishing.

  • Brent Von Aschen
    August 24, 2015, 3:53 pm

    You gotta Love a Man that tries to help a community destroyed by natural disaster. It is sad that the corporation that billed the products as rot free design failed misserably according to reports. If in fact the failure of the advertised product is true, and the organization that built the homes trusted in that advertising and promise of quality, they will be able to get the courts to see and award for the organizations cost to recover and assist the home dwellers as well as the court costs… Kudos to Brad Pitt for his effort although cant see $100,000 in the structures even if they didn’t rot.

  • Chris Livengood
    August 24, 2015, 4:03 pm

    I agree with Ron Watson…for less than 500 sq. ft. seems like a $100,000 is a bit steep! Someone seems to be profiting from this project. Doing most of the work, we built a 2,500 sq. ft. home for that amount in Michigan (where the cost of living and property taxes are pretty high). I really liked the down-sizing idea until some of these “Tiny Homes” started costing as much as a large family home. I have been following your website for a couple of years now and in the beginging, builders were producing affordable housing but now that this concept is starting to catch on, the prices we see listed are getting higher and higher….what gives?

    • Jodie Dew
      August 25, 2015, 7:40 pm

      As someone who just built a 20×28 small home I am here to tell u that the extra costs involved as in plumbing hvac electrical permits land improvements tap fees etc…people foget to include all that when they complain abt how much it costs…I had under $100 sq ft WITHOUT the cost of the land fees taps permits blueprints…etc etc…by the time I added all that in it almost doubles ur cost.

  • King
    August 24, 2015, 4:31 pm

    I love this article. It’s good to know that some people are actively trying to make a difference. I like the design as well. Just needs some serious anchors for the ground and some serious hurricane hardware for the roof! To bad Brad can’t help fund one for me in Ohio haha.

    • Aloszko
      August 24, 2015, 8:22 pm

      Dear King, I pressed report by accident.

  • Bonny
    August 24, 2015, 5:05 pm

    I, too, don’t understand the extreme overhang in hurricane country. It looks nice but doesn’t make any sense to me. The price, also, seems a tad high even with a lot of storm related items built in…

    • Rich
      August 24, 2015, 11:04 pm

      glad so many have mentioned the extreme overhang. and hope there is plenty of footing below those piers to keep it anchored. Rising water might not even matter when that thing takes flight!

  • Annette
    August 24, 2015, 5:18 pm

    Kris Williams: The homes that Pitt’s charity orginally built and rotted are not these new homes.

  • Candide33
    August 24, 2015, 5:36 pm

    Well $100,000 is a lot better than the $400,000 that they were charging to start with, now the regular houses are ‘only’ $180,000 to $220,000. That is in the low income area of the city, far away from any stores or restaurants or city services because none of those things were rebuilt there.

    They have spent $27 million dollars on 109 houses, the could have rebuilt the whole Lower 9th ward for that.

  • Shirley
    August 24, 2015, 6:02 pm

    I too am concerned about price! This is far more expensive to build, than a much larger home. I wanted a smaller or tiny home because about a year ago, these same homes were costing around $25,000. Now $100,00. I wonder if the popularity has pushed the price up. If so, a shame! Plus I only wanted and needed a tiny home to care for? But the prices are becoming just way too expensive for the those that wanted to get away from high rent and large mortgage. I hope they do not lose sight of why young couples, singles, just out of college or retired people were so excited about tiny homes in the beginning.

    • Valerie
      August 26, 2015, 3:09 am

      I completely agree with you – I was excited about tiny homes b/c of the possibility of not having rent pymnts or a mortgage. I don’t know anyone who has $100K to plunk down – if I had to pay that much, and need a loan to do it, I might as well live in a bigger space. My only motivation to live in a tiny house would be the cost savings, without that there is no point to it (for me personally).

  • J. Wilkins
    August 24, 2015, 6:21 pm

    I think it’s amazing that Mr. Pitt is helping the folks reclaim their lives after a disaster like Katrina. I’m sure these home are powered be green energy as well and I’m sure those that receive these homes are very, very grateful.
    Thanks Mr. Pitt for helping!!!!!!!

  • AVD
    August 24, 2015, 8:46 pm

    Lets hope that Brad Pitt’s next building adventure in New Orleans does not turn out to be the health-pits and durability-pits that the first group of homes turned out to be. Ego before smarts is always a formula for disaster.


  • Jamielt
    August 24, 2015, 9:14 pm

    Thank you Brad Pitt for helping people improve their lives. Nice house.

  • Susanne
    August 24, 2015, 11:28 pm

    Building for another hurricane… Better to get the heck out of Dodge.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 24, 2015, 11:28 pm

    Wow! I love both Brad and Angelina, and this endeavor is heartwarming to see. The house is lovely and practical, though I would love to see more pics of the inside. However, I would think that a simple house like that with its square footage would cost under $60,000, not $100,000. Why isn’t the cost coming down with the square footage? Surely the amount of lumber, footings, insulation, and other building materials are much smaller, and there is probably only one bath in this house, a simple but practical one. I am sure the kitchen is simply clad with basic appliances to keep costs down, so why $100,000? Maybe it is the location. I live in NC where $100,000 will get you a 2400 square foot house in today’s slow market, at least it did both my daughters. I am just wondering. Again, I think the endeavor is wonderful, but the prices could come down in the spirit of the word “affordable”.

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 24, 2015, 11:37 pm

    One more thought, the roof lines seem to be facing away from what would be prevailing winds in the event of a Hurricane. I am sure
    Engineers put a lot of thought into the roof design, especially given the area, so we readers have to give the company the benefit of the doubt there as most of us are not engineers. It looks like the winds would actually be pushing down against the roofs toward the foundation which would help keep the house from flying away or maybe being pushed apart with the high winds. Just a thought…again, I am not an engineer.

    • Fred
      August 25, 2015, 8:46 am

      “Prevailing winds” doesn’t really happen when a hurricane comes through… The winds shift all around as the storm moves due to the “eye of the storm” effect. Tornadoes get produced off of hurricanes as well! Larger overhangs are not desirable in heavy winds unless they are “hinged” and can come down to protect the sides of the structure… Now, that would be innovative!

    August 25, 2015, 12:28 am

    I think highly of mr. Pitt and his wife and appreciate all the good they do, but they are out of touch with what Tiny House …Low income families need.Several years ago Mr. Pitt spent 50, 000 on a custom TOY plastic Escalade for one of his children…so how can he understand that 100, 000 dollars is ridiculous for this tiny house. I believe his heart is in the right place..but when you live the lifesyle they live…they just cant possibly understand how 100,000 is not what the average tiny house person can afford…but then again if you watch Tiny House Nation..they are building tiny homes for people that can afford 100k for a treehouse for the kids to play in…it depends on who needs the tiny house I guess..but I think you could get a way better deal ( house) in New Orleans for this price..imho

  • Sharon Fried
    August 25, 2015, 12:39 am

    Brad Pitt’s wonderful project is way too expensive. The whole point of downsizing and living smaller is to gain a bigger, easier debt-free life! I don’t know what materials are being used, and I realize that there may be certain expenses unknown to me because of the hurricanes, but using simple basic materials, including recycled wood, windows, etc., should be able to reduce the cost quite a bit.

  • August 25, 2015, 3:57 am

    Wow! Way to expensive. There are so many in NOLA living in mold houses that they can not afford to re-build. A 30K THOW would do them just fine, but they do not have the funds.

    I love the thought of what they are doing, except how about 10 really cheap THOW instead of one pricy one.

    Any thing built in NOLA or any hurricaine area needs to be on wheels. Imagine being able to live in those areas and the storm warning hits and you just drive you and your home away. When you return home, no rebuild needed. Only a re-park.

    I have thought for years THOW is the answer for those areas. Truck required though.

  • Peter
    August 25, 2015, 8:17 am

    As has been said several times already, this roof is asking for diaster to happen in the next hurricane, the lesser overhang, the lesser the chances are that everything will be blown of.

    The price doesn’t seem to have anything to do with reality, surely not Bratts fault, as him and his wife have lost the slightest touch with the costs most things in real life.

    They have properties all over the world in the nicest places, found for them by estate agents for astronomical prices, so to them the 100K for this house must be like peanuts.

    The people that were involved in the design and the building of this house surely knew that Bratt had lost touch with prices for ages already, and may have used (abused) him.

    Still the idea about his help for the building of (cheap) houses is nice.


    • Bill Burgess
      August 25, 2015, 11:33 am

      Very True Peter. Having become rich prior to having any mileage is a handicap of the famous. However good their Ideas and intent, being taken advantage of is pretty common in AmeriKoch today. I tried to get HGTV to do a series with Park Model RV shells finished for $25K Max and donate finished units (as a series) but was informed as I was not Corporate Sponsored the Idea could not be considered. A shame as I have a nice High Wind area “French” Design at 4Fathoms Designs on Facebook.

  • curt
    August 26, 2015, 12:37 am

    Tiny house or bigger house- you still much purchase the same items, hire the same contractors (who have a minimum) . I have found the items that are designed for small spaces also cost more because of economies of scale. You then also must decide if you are going to use materials/mechanics that only will last twenty years or last for sixty or seventy years. Being a smaller space the surfaces you do have will be used harder than in a large empty building. If you view this building as a place for “poor people to live” repairs and upkeep fall to the bottom of the list for the budget. So extra money spent upfront actually might increase the lifespan of the structure. I do like the idea of raising it up enough to create a carport the drawback might be needing to sink the pilings a equal distance into the ground. The winged roof- not sure is as big of a issue- I suspect that the engineering has been done and if the construction has been done properly. I think the key is keeping the water and wind out and not letting the wind find a opening in the structure to work at it and rip it open. Then the windows should be the new hurricane resistant windows which do cost more than the regular windows. So in some ways you do get what you pay for. I do suspect that after reading about the abandoned properties in the city- that the land was bought for cheap, and if it had a existing house on it- you would still have the water tap and the sewer but I am sure those were replaced. So for new construction the price does not surprise me. Living in a condo built in 1984 with about the same square footage were the plumbing, heating airconditioning, water heater, flooring, windows and patio door, balconies, roof, and siding have all needed to be replaced or patched because the builder was so cheap that he went bankrupt spending upfront might not be a good business decision but possibly a good long term decision.

  • ev
    August 27, 2015, 8:09 am

    the price for new construction may not be out of line, especially if it is the only one being done (which is what I gather from the article). Economy of scale for building really comes into play (I work in the industry) when building a subdivision as opposed to a single unit. I don’t know that area at all but it’s probably not expensive. However, although I do greatly admire Mr. Pitt and his family’s charitable endeavors, I think he may not have any understanding of ‘affordable’ for the average person. I make a decent living in a low-cost area and I wouldn’t even consider 100,000 for a house.

  • Miguel Harary
    September 2, 2015, 7:35 am

    The actor-producer’s nbsp;Make it Right foundation nbsp;is partnering with nbsp;FYI’s Tiny House Nation nbsp;to build the organization’s very first tiny home to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

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