The Atlanta Regional Commission recognized the Cottages on Vaughan in Clarkston — the state’s first tiny home community — as the most innovative development in metro Atlanta this year.

The commission, which oversees development projects in 10 metro Atlanta counties, highlighted the tiny home project in its 2021 Regional Excellence Awards, according to a news release. The Cottages on Vaughan consists of eight standalone homes that are 250 to 550 square foot in size. Spanning a half-acre in total, the “micro-pocket” neighborhood a few blocks from Clarkston’s downtown opened over the summer.

Credit: MicroLife Institute

Credit: MicroLife Institute

“The neighborhood, which is also built with climate-conscious features such as solar panels and edible, regenerative landscaping, provides homeownership opportunities in a city where a lack of available land prevents much new housing from being built — and the vast majority of existing housing are rental properties,” the release said.

The development was a joint effort between MicroLife Institute and the city. All eight homes sold by mid-July for between $119,000 and $201,000. Small homes, while cheaper overall, cost more per square foot because they still include the most expensive parts of a house, such as kitchens, bathrooms and basic amenities.

“The interest of just this project alone shows there is a huge market, maybe not always necessarily for 500 square feet, but between the sweet spot of 500 to 1,000 square feet,” Will Johnston, the MicroLife Institute’s founder, previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “... Developers might need to think differently how we build in the future. I just see so many people in this mindset of wanting to have this lifestyle.”

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