Monday, July 17, 2006
The New Cottage for an Old City
This is a Katrina Cottage, as an alternative to the FEMA trailer designed by cottage designer Marianne Cusato and architect Eric Moser, as the result of a inside and compare that to the inside of a FEMA trailer. Given the choice, which you you select? Don't bother to answer. FEMA has decided for you. They claim the Stafford Act, the legislation authorizing FEMA activities, prevents them from providing permanent housing.
But the story doesn't stop there, as hard as FEMA tires. There is a Katrina Cottage II, designed by town planner Andres Duany and described as "Creole inpisred", which can be built for $70,000 or less and is 770 square feet, or twice the size of the model shown above. It is about the size of a smallish Creole cottage in New Orleans.
I think at this point, most people are anxious to get out of the FEMA punishment box and into a real home. This is the real moment for the Katrina Cottage and its spin-offs. New Orleans is full of homes that looked like this before The Flood, and like this after. The Katrina cottage industry provides one way to rebuild the city.
One modular home builder is clearly moving into the New Orleans market. New Era Homes is putting up what looks like a shotgun cottage on West End Boulevard just at the exit from the Pontchartrain Expressway. Such homes could provide a way to quickly and, from the look of it, appropriately reconstruction much of new Orleans.
Two New Era modular home unites in Lakeview
Much of New Orleans housing stock is (or was) in the shotgun double. They were built to fit the narrow lots of a city constrained by lack of high, dry land. And they were the affordable housing of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
It's time to rediscover our roots, and look to find a house that fits the housing profile of New Orleans, is affordable to average working people, and leverages materials ideally suited to the climate. While there isn't any cypress wood in a Katrina cottage, there is fiber-cement siding and crimped metal roofs that resist damage by hurricanes.
As we look to rebuild the city, a modular, storm resistant home that fits the profile and character of of our neighborhoods, that could in fact be dropped on top of existing piers or easily elevated to three feet, that could put people back into affordable-to-own homes is just the thing we need.
Katrina NOLA New Orleans Hurricane Katrina Think New Orleans Louisiana FEMA levees flooding Katrina Cottage modular home
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