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June 10, 2014

Ribbon Cutting: Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype

Looking up at the Urban Post-Disaster Housing unit.

In an exciting ribbon cutting ceremony, DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno debuted the nation’s first Urban Post-Disaster Housing Prototype. Addressing the City’s challenges of population density and lack of open space, the prototype can be quickly constructed to provide suitable, interim living space for New Yorkers and residents displaced by disaster.

The three-story prototype consists of three factory-built housing units, currently installed at a site adjacent to OEM's headquarters in Brooklyn. Over the coming year, volunteers will live inside of the prototype to evaluate its viability as post-disaster housing. Since the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not currently provide urban temporary housing for dense areas, this prototype aims to fill in a gap in the in government’s ability to deliver multifamily, multistory housing to urban areas in a post-disaster situation.

"DDC and OEM are working together to develop a new form of high-density emergency housing that is responsive to the needs of New York City's urban community, and others around the nation,” said DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora. “These prototypes are designed to allow people to stay in their neighborhoods, even when they can't stay in their homes. I thank Commissioner Bruno, FEMA Administrator Hatfield, and the Army Corps of Engineers for their partnership and support as we implement Mayor de Blasio's vision to create stronger, more resilient neighborhoods."

OEM and DDC worked closely with many City, state, federal, nonprofit, and private sector stakeholders to create, design, build, and install the prototype and assess its viability and performance. For more information about the prototype, visit