Katrina Cottage II: Headed to Congress

The Katrina Cottage (which we first covered here) is back in the news. When we saw it last, it was a nice alternative to FEMA trailers, an example of "design that makes a difference" according to the architect, Marianne Cusato, but hadn't been put to use. We like the Cottage because they're cheaper and safer than a FEMA trailer, and are also more permanent; additions can be built, turning the cottage into a home. Herein lies the difficulty, though: under federal law, FEMA cannot spend money on "permanent" housing. Governors of both Mississippi and Louisiana as well as members of the Louisiana Recovery Association are lobbying hard for the Cottage as a better option (and considering residents of South Florida are still occupying FEMA trailers more than 13 years following Hurricane Andrew, they may be right). In the face of this, the Senate is considering an unprecedented step.Next week, the Senate Appropriations Committee, headed by Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), will consider adding money to President Bush's $19 billion request aimed at helping the Gulf Coast recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mississippi officials hope the panel approves funding to build 20,000 Katrina Cottages. Architect Cusato has her fingers crossed: she's designed Katrina Cottage II, a larger version that, like the original, is designed with the Creole cottage-look one might find in the Gulf Coast region. Notably, the cottages don't contain any sheetrock, allowing homes to "get wet" (as in, flood) without having to gut the interiors because of dangerous mold; they can simply dry out and keep right on living. ::Katrina Cottage via ::Inhabitat and ::The Times Picayune

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