Housing insecurity is a nationwide epidemic, which is magnified after a natural disaster. The goal of the Sonoma Wildfire Cottages Initiative is threefold:
- Confront the epidemic of housing insecurity through an awareness campaign with a built case study highlighting real and attainable solutions for Sonoma County that can be applied throughout the State of California, as well as nationwide.
- Provide attainable housing for families impacted by the 2017 wildfires and a stabilizing “hand up” for a path toward homeownership
- Inform the rebuilding process today and help communities, throughout California and nationwide, prepare for future disasters by showcasing innovative housing solutions and preparing an outline of lessons learned
About the Initiative
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Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County partnered with Cypress Community Development Corp. to develop the Sonoma Wildfire Cottages Initiative. This initiative was inspired by Marianne Cusato’s Katrina Cottages, which were in turn was inspired by the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Shacks.
The SWC Initiative challenges existing systems for default construction techniques, model building codes, design patterns, and subsidized housing models to uncover opportunities to streamline the process and increase productivity while improving outcomes. Our hope is that these results will inform not only the current rebuilding efforts in Sonoma County, but also provide a resource for communities throughout California and nationwide as they preemptively prepare for potential natural disasters.
At the heart of the Sonoma Wildfire Cottage Initiative is the showcase of prefabricated building systems that streamline the construction process. The homes stretch existing building and energy codes, are safe, durable, fire resistant, and dignified. Homes were supplied by: Connect-Homes, GigiCrete, West Coast SIPs, Wolf Industries.