Could these tiny houses —and we mean tiny — house the hurricane homeless?

A tiny house quickly came together last week in the parking lot of the Marathon Government Center.

A crew with the Plexos Group, a consulting company, erected the 300-square-foot prefabricated house, complete with kitchen appliances and unconnected bathroom fixtures, in about three and a half hours as a “mock-up” demonstration project for possible short-term housing in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County commissioners were in Marathon Wednesday for their first full meeting since the Category 4 slammed the Keys on Sept. 10.

“They just wanted to come in and show it off as an alternative to trailers and mobile homes” typically used for temporary housing after emergencies, County Administrator Roman Gastesi told commissioners.

“We don’t know” if the Federal Emergency Management Agency would approve funding for the “cartridge technology” houses, Gastesi said, “but it’s kind of a neat idea.”

Plexos Senior Vice President Kirk Fisher said the design for the houses was drawn after Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and Mississippi in August 2005, displacing an estimated 400,000 people. Plexos is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The cramped but liveable pop-up homes could be built and occupied for about $60,000, he said, and would be cheaper and more resilient to weather than manufactured trailers.

“It could be a temporary solution to a housing shortage, or even a permanent solution” in some situations, Fisher said.

The Advocate newspaper in Louisiana reported in December: “FEMA estimated that it pays a unit rate of $62,500 for average cost of a mobile home, and another $23,000 for installation, and then $15,400 for maintenance.” Trailers occupied for several months typically are sold off.

Many small trailers used after Hurricane Katrina were faulted for containing potentially hazardous materials. Current FEMA trailers must be built to higher environmental standards.