By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Excavating a lot in Garfield is no small feat — but the results will be tiny.

“We are digging a hole to pour a foundation for a tiny house,” says Eve Pickler.

Tiny houses are a housing trend sweeping the nation for folks who want to live simply, cheaply and in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Pioneering urban developer Eve Picker says this one will be only 350 square feet — and not for the hoarder or the claustrophobic.

“You can’t have a lot of stuff,” she says.

They’re good for young-people, especially who’d like to live in Pittsburgh’s fashionable East End but can’t afford a luxury apartment like the ones under construction a bakery square. They might actually be able to buy and own a tiny house.

“With close access to transportation, the ability to walk to shops, not necessarily own a vehicle and live very affordably in a very nice little house,” said Picker.

Upon completion, Picker’s CityLab will solicit sealed bids starting at $100,000 — meaning mortgage payments and taxes could be as low $520 a month, while electricity and gas bills would be a fraction of yours.

“If you can compare it to what’s going on here in the East End, it’s very affordable. I wish it was more affordable,” Picker said.

The house is a pilot project and Picker would like to build more, but the cost of excavation and water and sewer hookups have proven to be much more expensive than anticipated — and she’ll likely sell at a loss.

Picker would like the city to develop a program to make it easier and more affordable to redevelop vacant lots in neighborhoods like Garfield as a way of providing cheaper housing.

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