Planning for a Temporary-to-Permanent Housing Solution in Post-Katrina Mississippi: The Story of the Mississippi Cottage

August 2011 (VOL. 29, NO. 2)

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Immediately following Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi Governor’s Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal collaborated with the Congress for the New Urbanism to generate rebuilding proposals for the Mississippi Gulf Coast. One of the ideas generated from this partnership was the Katrina Cottage—a small home that could serve as an alternative to the FEMA Trailer. The State of Mississippi participated in the Pilot Alternative Temporary Housing (PATH) program, which was funded by the U.S. Congress. This study examines how local governments and residents responded to the Mississippi Cottage Program. This study finds that while the Mississippi Cottage program did provide citizens with needed housing following Hurricane Katrina, there are significant policy and implementation challenges that should be addressed before future disasters. The paper concludes by offering recommendations on how communities across can prepare to provide temporary housing in their communities.