Temporary Housing Projects Making Progress but Challenges Remain

Posted by Jim Ivanoff
June 13th, 2011

Local governments in the tsunami hit areas of Japan are still scrambling to house people, but progress is being made. However, a report from the Nikkei Newspaper stated that unfortunately about 90,000 still remain homeless.

The good news is that the goal to have 30,000 units built by the end of May was basically achieved. The remaining 25,000 are to be completed before the end of July. Some of the units being built are using the 2×4 construction method and are already being well received as they are much better built than the typical pre-fab metal units.

The pictures in this article are of a project completed by Iwakura Homes from Hokkaido. While on paper these temporary homes are only expected to be used for two years, it is likely that many people will live in them for many years more. With Tohoku’s cold winters, the people who are chosen for 2×4 units like these by Iwakura will be afforded a much more comfortable living environment.

The biggest obstacle to building temporary housing remains the difficulty in finding suitable land. In Miyagi Prefecture the government is holding land on high ground nearest to the coast for the actual reconstruction of communities. This means that the government is trying to build temporary housing further inland and thus away from the original towns. Without cars or other forms of transportation, many people have turned down such units creating a PR disaster for officials as up to 60% of completed temporary housing units are unoccupied. It is clear that the people in Tohoku need government to stop their politicking and get on with formulating a plan to start the actual reconstruction efforts.

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