Temperature changes can alter how air collects, holds, and releases water. That’s why, as our planet continues to overheat and the air gets hotter, many extreme weather events — like hurricanes and floods — can get more intense or happen more often.
One way we can adapt to these changes is with disaster-resilient infrastructure. But those kinds of homes aren’t always affordable or accessible to everyone.
That’s where MiCASiTA comes in. The new housing project, based in Texas, is building affordable, wind and flood-ready homes for people in low-income, rural communities.
This program is an incremental finance model, meaning these homes can be modified to fit a family’s budget and can evolve with them over time. MiCASiTA provides a low-cost mortgage that allows homeowners to build equity — even before the home is ready.
MiCASiTA dwellings are 15% to 20% less expensive per square foot than traditional site-built houses. These cost savings come from the fact that these homes are built at a factory in nearby Brownsville, Texas — saving material, labor, and transportation costs — then transported to their final property.
Whereas most on-site houses take over half a year to construct, MiCASiTA builds its homes in just 60 days.
Come dream. come build (also known as cdcb) and buildingcommunityWORKSHOP (also known as bc) are the two non-profits behind MiCASiTA. Working with lenders and private investors, these two organizations created a flexible loan product and mortgage fund to help households with low credit scores.
Poverty is a major issue in many Rio Grande Valley communities, where residents suffer from a lack of affordable housing. Yet, the area is also vulnerable to hurricanes and floods — events that would leave many families struggling to recover.
With MiCASiTA dwellings being affordable and quick to build, people won’t have to wait years to recover from a disaster.
According to Nick Mitchell, executive director of cdcb, there are currently two prototype MiCASiTA dwellings and four more in development. And MiCASiTA recently received a $3 million award that will allow it to expand to six new locations across the country and enhance its sustainable features with solar, energy, and water efficiency systems.
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