Monday, April 03, 2006

Friends In High Places

It seems the Katrina Cottage has at least one fan in the US Senate.

The Senate is considering an unprecedented step: allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide inexpensive, permanent housing to Americans who have lost their homes to a natural disaster.

Next week, the Senate Appropriations Committee, headed by GOP Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, will consider adding money to President Bush's $19 billion request aimed at helping the Gulf Coast recover from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Mississippi officials hope the panel approves funding to build 20,000 Katrina Cottages — tiny homes born of a new architectural movement that look like traditional Gulf Coast cottages.

"(Cochran) hopes to include in his bill new ways to provide comfortable, safe and efficient housing for the victims of Hurricane Katrina," said Jenny Manley, Cochran's press secretary.

When an all powerful government agency takes over the rebuilding of a devestated community, reconstruction will proceed with blinders because a community is like a living creature. It wasn't built in a laboratory, but evolved over many generations and with the involvement of thousands of individuals. And usually, when an agency tries to build a community, it does so in a way that is convient to that agency, not the people that will live in it.

History shows us the results of government housing. From Soviet era residential blocks to HUD housing projects. Sterile inhumanity for the warehousing of people as if they were nothing more than commodities.

Hopefully Sen. Cochran's bill will bring a little humanity to communities that so desperately need it.

Hat tip: Veritas et Venustas.

Witold Rybczynski puts his two cents worth in at

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