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Astrid Diaz is a well-known architect in Puerto Rico and has designed a new modular home resistant to hurricane-force winds. Greg Allen/NPR hide caption
Astrid Diaz is a well-known architect in Puerto Rico and has designed a new modular home resistant to hurricane-force winds.
In Puerto Rico, nearly two years after hurricane Maria, the need for safe, affordable housing is still a massive challenge. "We have more than a half million people affected. And we have to build, minimum, 75,000 homes, " says Astrid Diaz, a well-known architect in Puerto Rico. She was part of a FEMA team that assessed the island's infrastructure after the storm.
Diaz often appears on television wearing her trademark yellow hardhat, promoting her "Casa Segura-Safe Homes" campaign.
But long before the storm, she urged residents on the island to develop a disaster plan and to make their homes hurricane-resistant. Since the storm, Diaz has a new project. She's designed a modular home, resistant to hurricane-force winds that she says can be built for $30,000. Not coincidentally, that's the maximum amount of assistance FEMA makes available for homeowners. "I started thinking that I need to design a house for people in Puerto Rico, a house where they feel safe."
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