Rapid Disaster Recovery Housing Program

On July 23rd, 2008, Hurricane Dolly made landfall in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley causing widespread flooding and sustained winds of over 120mph. Low income residents in Cameron and Hildago Counties were hit hard, losing over $152 million dollars in housing related damages and contributing to a sum LRGV loss of $1 billion. As a result, the Texas Natural Disaster Housing Reconstruction Committee assembled a plan to design a statewide rapidly deployable replacement housing system for victims of federally declared natural disasters. RAPIDO is [bc]’s response to the state’s initiative, addressing issues of social equity, rapid deployment, and constructability.

RAPIDO rethinks the actual reconstruction model to increase the availability of affordable housing and improve the quality of housing built after a disaster. The design process examines not only architectural issues but every level of the process, specifically the social, economic and political contexts that make up a disaster scenario. RAPIDO is understanding, and re-designing the entire process in order to integrate the relief and recovery phases allowing a rapid response. RAPIDO’s construction strategy is phased in two parts. In phase one families will receive a standardized “CORE” home that contains essential living facilities, Families will reside in their core until resources and time allow for expansion, at which point (second phase) homes will be added on to accommodate long-term family needs and desires. The pilot program will build 20 prototype units for residents of WillacyCameron and Hidalgo County affected by Hurricane Dolly (2008).