Crisis Housing Solutions Is Building Its First Model for Post-Disaster Housing
Six months after Hurricane Dorian levelled large parts of the northern Bahamas, it still looks like the storm just hit in many places. While the streets have been cleared of debris, thousands of homes remain uninhabitable.
While wealthier residents on lesser-hit Bahamian islands have insurance for their properties, most working Bahamians do not. Having already suffered job and income losses after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, many residents stopped carrying insurance as they simply couldn’t afford it. When Dorian hit in 2019, carrying with it catastrophic losses, most residents had nothing to help them rebuild.
When Crisis Housing Solutions (CHS) first began to explore the use of shipping containers as a source of affordable housing, it became clear from the myriad of uses worldwide that containers could be adapted for almost limitless possibilities – including temporary and permanent post-disaster housing.
“With so many of our neighbors in the Bahamas struggling, Crisis Housing Solutions wanted to do something to help,” shares Craig Vanderlaan, the organization’s Executive Director and Co-Founder. “Thanks to the support of a local benefactor, we have already started construction on the first of what we hope will be many units that can be used for both temporary and more permanent needs to assist with recovery.”
This first unit will be a two-bedroom, 1-bathroom home with a kitchenette and small living area. It can be connected to a generator or local power grid to provide power for more permanent placement. Units will each have a full split system AC to keep things comfortable. Additional details are under development as this will our first post-disaster model created.
As the project gets underway, we have already seen a great outpouring of support from the community. A local electrical contractor has volunteered time to complete the wiring of the unit. A local artist has already designed the façade and will complete the painting once the unit is nearing completion.
With the unit already under construction, CHS anticipates completion in just under two months. We will be chronicling the weekly progress through our social media platforms. Stay tuned for updates on this truly unique and innovative new home for a Bahamian family!