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09 June 2009

Disaster Housing

MIT students got a hold of a leftover FEMA trailer and turned it into some sort of composting, plant growing, rainwater catching art project - interesting, but... what problem does this solve?

After Hurricane Katrina these trailers were offered up as temporary housing. The trailers cost $18,620 a piece, (which the surplus of which are now selling for an average of $7,400) but their maintenance costs pushed the real costs closer to $229,000 in some cases. In an economic double-whammy this should hurt companies who sell trailers. Selling a new trailer, even one that is priced aggressively, can't compete with a market flooded with trailers market down some 60%.

Of course I would have the government build some sort of mixed use commercial residential monolithic dome community powered by a district energy system, but perhaps my, engineer and ex-military, father was right. The military has all sorts of bases in the South that are empty and being torn down at great expense. Why didn't we send the hurricane victims there? The military knows how to hold; feed; and house thousands of people, and when it's all done there won't be leftover toxic trailers.

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