Last week I joined the Preservation Resource Center (PRC) and Lowe's at the construction site in Holy Cross of New Orleans' first Katrina Cottage. The PRC's Operation Comeback program is using three Lowe's designs and will be constructing Lowe's Katrina Cottages at four sites in Holy Cross. The two-bedroom shotgun style house sits at the corner of Lizardi and Douglass, along the Mississippi levee. This house will be put on the market after its completion.
The state of Louisiana has been grappling for two years to build even one Katrina Cottage as part of a pilot program to find substitute housing for the infamous FEMA trailers, and has yet to complete any houses, while the state of Mississippi has placed 2,800. It is important, though, to note that the Lowe's Katrina Cottages constructed by Operation Comeback are built from the ground up as permanent -- and in most cases expandable -- housing that meets building code specifications and that withstands hurricane force winds. They are designed to be a part of the neighborhood for generations to come.
Through the support of Lowe's, Operation Comeback staff will work with homeowners who decide to purchase the plans and building materials kits to help them navigate the permit approval process in New Orleans.