resilient house
by Megan Thompson
Categories: Causes, Environment, People
Tags: .

The Make It Right charity, founded by actor Brad Pitt, recently teamed up with other non-profit organizations for a friendly competition: namely, to see who could design the best affordable and storm-resistant home to continue rebuilding hurricane-ravaged Queens.

The winning design, called the Resilient House, will be built in the Rockaways neighborhood by Make It Right for roughly 50,000 dollars and will be awarded to one lucky family by Friends of the Rockaways, another charitable organization.

resilienthouse

The Resilient House is a modern twist on the iconic bungalows that have historically filled the Rockaways. It contains many eco-friendly features, including a split roof with insulated windows that keep the house naturally lit year-round. As another bonus, the house does not need a heating or cooling system to stay at a comfortable temperature. “Even if the power goes out,” said designer Craig Rice, “the house remains liveable.”

Another involved organization, the St. Bernard Project, has built hundreds of homes in the southern U.S. following devastating storms. Executive Director Zack Rosenburg said “[e]ven if you can’t afford your own architect, you should still be able to live in a sustainable, resilient home.” To achieve this goal, the united charities are making the Resilient House and four other environmentally-friendly, storm-proof home designs available to the public.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Megan Thompson

Megan is a healthy living and natural beauty advocate who is obsessed with sustainable gardening, food politics, human rights and animal protection. An L.A. native, she loves staying on top of the latest pop culture news and green lifestyle trends. When she is not writing, she loves going to the beach, hula hooping and working on upcycling projects.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

    AFFORDABLE HOUSING versus FLEXIBLE HOUSING
    This should be an opportunity for the Make It Right folks to NOT rebuild these homes and move these people to a place that HAS JOBS in the first place.

    If you visit this area, the Lower 9th ward, you will see, more than 8 years after Hurricane Katrina, these homes are still by themselves with no grocery store and anything worthwhile for that matter.

    The Flood Insurance is going to be a lot for everyone else who is still not 20 feet above sea level, hence, how is everyone else going to rebuild if you are not with the Make It Right group? Then, add in Wind insurance as well as the much higher property taxes in a place with NO JOBS?

    This also goes with the Habitat for Humanity group that has build around 300 houses after Hurricane Katrina.

    These affordable housing groups are only ENTRAPPING these poor in an area that hasn’t had jobs for 40 or so years and in an area that is still one of the most dangerous areas in a hurricane.

    The poor need “flexible” housing needs so they can go to where the jobs are. Not be trapped in a so-called affordable house that is in a place with no jobs.

    And what they local media don’t want you to know is that in this same area, the 9th ward, Lower and Upper, is the old bl?ck men who hang out on the street medians across from the glorified “ghetto liquor store” gas stations 24/7, drinking the cheapest beer they can afford, beg, borrow or steal.

    And in clear daylight for all to see…That is, the Big Easy with it’s public intoxication and Second Lines, which are no more than bar hopping with a permit by the poorest of the poor who are almost all on Section 8, EBT, WIC and SNAP and use these to pay for party food.

    Twitter: AhContraire

    • http://www.twitter.com/AhContraire AhContraire

      A few more things.

      In New Orleans, only 40% of the properties pay any type of property tax. This is because of Louisiana’s very high homestead exemption that caters to the poor and non-profits. Basically, one large public housing system and numerous non-profits systems across the state. And in Orleans Parish, a lot of these non-profits, like universities and schools don’t pay a thing for city services, yet, use these basic city services.

      Regardless, I like to call this tax break, the Huey P. Long “NINJA LOAN” Homestead Exemption as all it did was encourage the poor and the slum lords to come in over the last 70 years and cater to Section 8, welfare, EBT, SNAP, WIC, and so on. It was supposed to encourage home ownership but NOLA is 70% renters and Louisiana 25% are on EBT and live at or below the poverty line.

      Plus, this very same NINJA LOAN Homestead Exemption also allowed BLIGHT from Hurricane Katrina to remain to this day (8+ years) as many home owners live out of state as that’s where the jobs are and have zero property taxes to pay on their blighted house. Hence, the house becomes a public hazard where it can collapse at any time.

      So, since only 40% of the all the properties within the City of New Orleans pay property taxes, the services are like Detroit. Street light still don’t work, traffic lights malfunction all the time, streets with pot holes and an Orange Cone and water leaking all over the place. The Orange cone is to warn drivers that there is huge pot hole there so your car won’t fall into it and you have to pay a thousand or more for a new front end.

      Then, the police are totally understaffed. Hour or more police response times.

      And don’t be surprised the meter maids and red light camera staff will give you a parking ticket even if you paid to park or even stopped at a red light before turning right. Why is this? IMO, it’s because they are so short of money. So unless these meter maids and red light staff don’t bring in fines and revenue, their JOB is eliminated as the City doesn’t have enough money to pay them in the first place.

      And did we mention CITY EMPLOYEE PENSIONS? 40% of all city tax revenues go straight to the city employee pension funds. That is not sustainable and a direct path toward bankruptcy.

      And then, all it takes is for one hurricane just to cause an evacuation. That would immediately cut tax revenues and services and could and should initiate a bankruptcy.

      Basically, New Orleans is headed for Detroit…bankruptcy. No matter what the City of New Orleans and the local media wants you to think.