ATLANTA, Ga -- It’s the rage across the country, for people wanting affordable, really down-sized living.

Atlanta could become one of the first cities in the southeast to allow tiny houses, homes that are smaller than 750 square feet, and often even smaller than 200 square feet.

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Tiny houses would be allowed in Atlanta only on certain lots that are currently zoned R-5, for duplexes.

That’s the recommendation just last week from the city’s planning department, and Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall, who has been working for years on the issue, hopes the council will agree.

“It’s a kitchenette, it has a bed that folds up, it has a desk in it, kind of the IKEA suites,” Hall said. “And it’ll offer people that don’t currently have affordable housing to have that... in our city."

Three years ago, students from Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta designed and built some of the first tiny houses in Atlanta - in a parking deck. Each house fit inside a parking space. Inside, the furnishings and clothing and personal items, as well as the high-tech amenities, were a showcase of efficient space utilization.

Will Johnston of the advocacy group Tiny House Atlanta said one idea, ultimately, is to build tiny house neighborhoods similar to condominium complexes, at a cost, including the property, of perhaps $40,000 for each house - and again, that would be in the City of Atlanta, inside the Perimeter.

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"Atlanta is embracing it, we're on the forefront," Johnston said. "People want more options. We have to add more housing options. And that's all I want from this movement. It's [for] tiny houses and micro housing to be seen as a legitimate option.”

Hall hopes the council will be ready to vote on tiny houses in May.

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