COD tiny home program getting big attention, look to provide affordable housing

Pristine Villarreal

Intersect Palm Springs is an art and design fair of modern and contemporary galleries.

And of all the creations displayed there, a tiny home built at College of the Desert is getting big attention.

“This was a student design, student-built project,” said Bert Bitanga, the head of the Architecture and Environmental Design program at COD.

He says this self-sustained tiny house measures in at 240 square feet and comes with all kinds of amenities including a kitchen, bathroom, sleeping loft and washer dryer combo.

Costing about $100,000 to build, Bitanga says tiny homes like these could help address the growing need for more affordable housing.

“We call this an alternative affordable housing,” he said. “I think because it’s moveable there wouldn’t really be any permits necessary. This is considered an RV.”

With the State of California expanding opportunities for tiny homes, some students have big aspirations to build them.

“It can reduce a lot of stress for families that are really going through tough times,” said Aleeah Aguilera, an architecture student at COD.

Aguilera hopes to provide more affordable housing for her community and take tiny homes from being displayed at Intersect Palm Springs to being placed lots of land across the Coachella Valley.

“With tiny homes we can really make sure that the cost of the housing is low,” she said.

This story was written and reported by Kai Beech. 

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