To determine which families would participate in the program, New Story held a voluntary lottery, followed by focus groups among future residents in Titanyen, to learn what people would need. Families requested outdoor cooking areas, since many use charcoal, and lightweight tin roofs, in case of another earthquake. Most of all, people wanted to feel safe. With an uptick of local gang violence in recent years, it was important for residents to be comfortable walking around their new neighborhood.
New Story also employed local artisans and materials to build the homes, creating jobs for community members and stimulating the Titanyen economy. Some workers have even moved into the homes they built. “As much as possible we use local labor, so that we are not bringing in outsiders,” Ng says. And by building groups of homes close together, New Story avoids disrupting the social fabric of communities.
For Farius, a new home represents a fresh start. Sitting outside his family’s old tent, he acknowledged that it was time to leave it behind. “This new house is a gift from God,” he noted. “This will be permanent. This will be my land. In my name. For my family. And that is freedom.”
A special thank you to our top sponsors for their extraordinary fundraising efforts and generous donations:
Apparatus, Atelier AM, Anna and Gregg Brockway, Bunny Williams Inc., Charles & Co., Condé Nast, Cullman & Kravis Associates, Drake/Anderson, Elizabeth Roberts Architects, Fairfax & Sammons, Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, G.P. Schafer Architect, Gachot, April Gargiulo, Georgis & Mirgorodsky Architecture & Design, Gina’s Collective, Key Hall, Peter Hunsinger, Donna Husmann, Ike Kligerman Barkley, Ingrao Inc., Jamie Bush + Co., Julie Hillman Design, Kelly Behun Studio, Ken Fulk Inc., Marmol Radziner, Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design, Elisabeth McGowan, Hannah and Tracy Monahan, Monique Gibson Interior Design, Nate Berkus Associates, Nicole Fuller Interiors, Mitchell Owens, Julia Pemberton, Redd Kahoi, Rosemary Regis, Robert Stilin, Sara Story Design, Sawyer | Berson, Sobia and Nadir Shaikh, Studio Volpe, Suzanne Kasler Interiors, Nicole and Kevin Systrom, Victoria Hagan Interiors, Alexandra and Spencer Wells