Rebuild Bay County showcases new temporary housing option

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Many still say housing is the main issue in our area since Hurricane Michael. One local organization is telling the community about a temporary housing solution which could help many without a home.

Rebuild Bay County displays IKEA Better Shelter at FSU Panama City. Officials believe the shelter could be a new temporary living solution for displaced storm victims. (WJHG/WECP)

It's been nearly eight months since Hurricane Michael and many are still trying to find a place to live.

"You see people sleeping on the street, sleeping in tents when it's over 100-degree weather. People need to be in a safe place," said Bay County resident Derrick Robinson.

Rebuild Bay County may have found a temporary housing solution, an IKEA Better Shelter.

"This may be an option for someone to pitch what's better than a tent," said Rebuild Bay County Vice-Chair Janice Lucas.

Wednesday, officials with Rebuild Bay County set up a shelter at FSU Panama City so the community could check out what might be an answer to the temporary living situation.

Officials say the shelter lasts six times longer than a tent. They also say the shelter is lightweight, affordable and solar powered and can be built in four hours.

"It's designed to be installed in cases where you wouldn't have time or resources to do other shelter solutions," said Head of Sales at BetterShelter.org, Anna Ofwerman.

Locals say the shelter can also help people trying to repair their home.

"Instead of getting trailers, they can put this in their front yard and they go into their home to take showers and use the bathroom," added Robinson.

The shelter would cost less than $2,000. However, the shelters are not available in the U.S. Lucas said they hope to change that.

"There are many more questions to answer but at least having the shelter here gives us an opportunity to talk from a position of knowledge about this product," said Lucas.

Lucas said they plan to meet with local government officials and others about this option. She said the display will be at FSU Panama City's Holley Center until Saturday.

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