In the wake of recent catastrophic disasters around the country, FEMA is seeking to re-evaluate their provision of post-disaster housing as authorized under the Stafford Act. The Urban Risk Lab, in collaboration with MIT DUSP, the Sloan School of Management, the Digital Structures Group, the Lincoln Laboratory and MIT CTL, is currently working under a multi-year contract to develop design research on alternative models for FEMA post-disaster housing assistance. The current phase of research explores models and systems of housing in the non-contiguous US including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, which have suffered significant housing losses due to Hurricane Maria and Cyclone Gita. Future stages will develop other models for sites in the contiguous US. 

Our interdisciplinary research, supported by collaborative efforts from the various teams across the Institute, explores how temporary housing can increase long-term resilience for individuals and communities by forming part of the permanent housing solution. A ‘temporary to permanent’ model provides a secure and disaster-resistant shelter in the immediate weeks and months after an emergency, while forming the basis for permanent housing either through incremental growth or by allowing survivors to remain onsite while they rebuild their home.


Urban Risk Lab: Miho Mazereeuw, Rich Serino, David Moses, Larisa Ovalles, Lizzie Yarina, Justin Lavallee, Xio Alvarez, Charlotte D'Acierno, Celia Sanchez Zelaya, Aditya Barve, Mayank Ojha, Jean Carlos Vega Diaz

Digital Structures Group: Caitlin MuellerAssistant Professor of Architecture and Civil Engineering
Courtney Steven

MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning: Justin SteilAssistant Professor of Law and Urban Planning
Mark Brennan, Haily Tran, Aditi Mehta

MIT Sloan School of Management: Steven GravesAbraham J. Siegel Professor of Management
So Han Florence Yip

Lincoln Laboratory Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response Group
Anthony Lapadula, Hayley Reynolds, Sean Winkler, Roland Weibel, Sarah Slaughter, Adam Norige

Supported by