To help solve Calgary’s post-flood housing shortage, Alderman Druh Farrell is looking to a solution builders used after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
As reported by the Calgary Herald, Farrell is considering using Katrina Cottages — something more elegant than the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) trailers, the utilitarian housing plunked down in yards of flood-battered homes in Louisiana after the 2005 disaster.
The cottages are small, easy to assemble and relatively cheap, coming in at around $115 per square foot, according to the designer’s website. And to Farrell, the planning department could ease regulations to allow these temporary lodgings to go into laneway backyards or in front of Calgary’s flooded-out houses.
Katrina cottages are among a series of options Farrell asked planners to consider in a September report to council, in hopes of finding ways to ease a rental crunch that was at its worst since 2006 even before the floods knocked out more basement suites and apartments.
“We’ve got students coming back to school in the fall, we have workers (that) are coming to help rebuild our city. Where will they stay?” Farrell told reporters.
“And all the people who’ve been displaced while they’ve been rebuilding their homes — where do they go? We haven’t even considered at this point. We’ve just been in recovery mode. We have to make some quick decisions.”