New York City is developing a new line of temporary housing for future disasters using shipping containers.
They emerge unscathed from rough seas and handling, but can those impregnable shipping containers on the waterfront survive 5-year-olds with permanent markers?
New York City’s emergency management office seeks to find better solutions for what to do with those displaced by natural disasters, including units that could be stacked high to maximize space.
As thousands of families left homeless by Hurricane Sandy struggle to find lodging, New York City and federal officials are pushing ahead with plans to develop a new line of temporary housing that could be rolled out quickly for future disasters. Those plans, city officials said, call for using shipping containers, or other types of modular units, that — unlike trailers — could be stacked high to maximize space in a city with little real estate to spare.
The city’s disaster housing plan, which has been under development for five years and was reported Monday by The New York Observer, would not affect those currently displaced by the storm. They have been scattered across the city in hotels, friends’ homes and vacant apartments.
But in future disasters the city’s plan would seek instead to provide interim housing for many of the affected within their own communities, while their own places are being repaired or rebuilt, said Joseph F. Bruno, commissioner of the city’s Office of Emergency Management. “We’re recreating their community, having people where they live and shop,” he said.