Post disaster housing innovations at new DC showcase

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WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Communities across the country that are recovering from flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and more all face issues with housing.

Federal officials have faced criticism over how they handle post-disaster housing.  During the inaugural “Innovative Housing Showcase” in Washington D.C., federal officials and experts discussed ways to improve disaster recovery and mitigation.

“The financial pain thats caused by flooding in homes, losing all your possessions, your wedding photos, your baby photos, we have to stop that,” said Rod Scott of “Ducky Recovery.”

Crews from “Ducky Recovery” specialize in hydraulic systems that lift homes to protect them from flooding.

“We can take a concrete slab home that is on a structural slab and elevate it 8, 10, 12 feet in the air and build a new foundation under it,” he said

Scott and other vendors took part in the “Innovative Housing Showcase,” a five-day event on the National Mall that highlighted new technologies and building solutions that could make housing more affordable for American families and more resilient during natural disasters. Federal leaders said they want to raise awareness about innovative and affordable ways federal, state and local agencies as well as homeowners can work together before and after disaster strikes.

Ben Carson, the U.S Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said the federal government is focused on improving  building standards and codes to reduce risks. He said officials are also looking at many options including encouraging alternatives like manufactured homes.

“They are bolted down to cement foundation. They are better able to withstand hurricanes and tornadoes than site built homes are,” said Carson.

Carson said products such as the “Boxabl” collapsible room can help cut costs and reduce the time it takes for communities to recover. 

“Allow us to take a 100 acre area and put in 1,000 units in a matter of days or weeks instead of a year or more,” Carson said.

With hurricane season now underway, Carson said federal officials will consider all options to help communities hit by natural disasters to rebuild.

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