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High Performance Manufactured Housing - Success Stories From Mississippi’s Response to Hurricane Katrina 


WASHINGTON DC -- In a May 14th briefing to congressional staff, the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) examined the successful federal-state partnership that led to the production of high quality relief housing ("Mississippi Cottages") for those left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Produced by the Mississippi Alternative Housing Pilot Program under a grant to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), these manufactured housing units are energy efficient (Energy Star compliant), safe (good indoor air quality), and durable (able to withstand 150 mph winds). In addition, units have been designed to meet both manufactured housing standards (the HUD Code, 24 CFR 3280) and building codes for permanent housing (the 2003 International Residential Code). This allows these high quality units to be deployed rapidly as relief housing and converted into permanent housing to replenish an area's depleted affordable housing stock. All of these steps – from design to manufacturing – were strictly regulated by professional quality assurance and quality control programs, and third-party energy analyses were performed.

The Mississippi Cottages are a success story that, if replicated, could allow the manufactured housing industry to play a significant role in keeping people safe in deadly storms; reducing the need for rebuilding, relocating, and temporary housing after future storms; and reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The project also marks an important step toward meeting the applicable goals of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-140) both for manufactured housing and high performance green buildings.

The briefing explored the lessons learned in this pilot project, including the need for high quality engineering, professional partnerships, and quality-controlled production as a potential prototype for future FEMA housing procurement. Professionals involved in the project provided their various perspectives, as well suggestions for how to ensure consistent high performance in manufactured and disaster relief housing.  Representatives from the companies who built these homes were also available with pictures of the buildings and to answer questions.


For more information regarding the briefing or the project, contact Joe Hagerman ( or Lindsey Marburger ( of the Federation of American Scientists.