Katrina Cottages for Haiti?

Assuming cheap or volunteer labor and that you strip out all the “extras” what would it cost to build the simplest of these Katrina Cottages in Haiti? Is the lumber involved available in the D.R.? Some articles stated the costs were about $50 to $110 per sq foot to build these in the US. BTW, are these houses prefabricated?

I am interested because some of the temporary housing being proposed, even though it is several steps above the “tentless” tent cities, looks so anti-community (i.e, high-tech tents and cargo shipping containers converted to houses) that I think as people are moved into these temporary house there will be a need to construct real housing (and bost the economy) on some of the vast tracts of empty land north of Port-au-Prince.

We have a bazillion trailers left over from Katrina that supposedly give off formaldehyde fumes. Give them a good scrubbing/coat of paint and send them down to Haiti where they will do some good.

No supposedly about it, any trailer, RV or prefabricated home does have formaldehyde in the material composite wood product used to construct the walls and it does off-gas, and it appears that hot weather makes it worse. In any case, it’s nothing that a scrubbing or coat of paint can fix. (Cite)

Haiti doesn’t need trailers that don’t work. Also, the point is something that builds community and looks culturally appropriate. Trailers would be blight. I know people want to help and some are trying to send down cargo shippment containers, but I worry that it won’t help with “build back better.”

I understand what you are saying, but turning Haiti into an enormous trailer park would STILL be an improvement over what it was pre-quake. I’m guessing that if they are dry and safe, most Haitians would prefer a hovel tomorrow to a pretty house in 5 years. Heck, I have a brother in the US who dreams of being able to afford a mobile home. (problem of choices, not income)

The immediate problem with the Katrina house is that it requires a plot of land. Port-Au-Prince is a very dense city that is currently full of ruble. I’m sure there could be some application for the Katrina house but I doubt that it is an immediate solution.

Building on the outskirts of PaP is problematic as roads and public transportation are not good. Public transit in PaP normally consists for beat-up Toyota pickup trucks where people ride in the back.

Well, I am trying to think of homes that can be built in 6-12 months and that will build community not unharmonius spaces of emergency housing that create problems later. The real issue is cost effectiveness, however, and these cottages may not be very cost effective (may be they are if stripped down). As for trailers now: I just don’t know if that is cost-effective (moving them) and if they can be easily set up (can they just be plunked down?). There may be other housing options for 6-12 months: most notably helping people to find housing with family in the rural ares (maybe just giving people money who take in familes from P-a-P, should be easy to start a documentation project). I also wonder if some modified “yurts” would not be better than just tents. A yurt of approximately 300 sq feet could be divided into two spaces large than what many in the slums had.

don’t forget hurricanes, the season starts in just a few months. haiti is a hurricane magnet.

getting shelter down there that can handle the after quakes they are having and the hurricanes to come is quite the undertaking.

i’m sure there are stuctural engineers just pulling their hair out trying to figure this one out.

They would provide construction jobs, and being concrete, would be resistant yo hurricanes. Plus, freeing up some land would enable the haitians to have more farmland close to the city.
Perhaps a Chinese construction company would be interested?