We said you’d be seeing Allison Arieff lots more in the pages of the NY Times, and today she’s got a piece about the home-building recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina. “Design Steps Up in Disaster’s Wake” talks about the Biloxi-based approach by Architecture for Humanity, the Biloxi Model Home Program.
The program went above and beyond other efforts by establishing a loan fund, a board to identify the neediest families and a crew of surveyors to go door-to-door, documenting every property in eastern Biloxi. They then put out the call to architects in a unique process that actually let the homeowners pick the design they wanted:
Thirteen responded, and last August they presented their designs to the seven families and the town of Biloxi at an Architecture for Humanity-sponsored house fair held downtown in a Salvation Army Quonset hut. Each family was allowed to choose its architect (even if another family had chosen the same one), a highly unusual form of client empowerment in this kind of housing competition.