After Hurricane Sandy, it’s estimated that up to 20,000 people in NYC alone will be forced into long-term homelessness. But the next time a major disaster hits our city, those displaced New Yorkers may be moving into into state-of-the art, stackable temporary homes inside of shipping containers, rather than the traditional schools and homeless shelters.

According to the Observer, the Bloomberg administration has been developing a relief program over the past five years that could modernize the very idea of disaster housing. Here’s what these impromptu container villages would look like:

When the next storm of the century hits, thousands of shipping container apartments could begin arriving in the city within days. A playground or a parking lot of at least 10,000 square feet—somewhere accessible, safe and sizable—would serve as the site. The units, stacked four containers high and anywhere from six to 12 units wide, would form neat little apartment blocks.

The leading scheme calls for a 480-square-foot one-bedroom apartment carved out of a 40-foot-long shipping container. Each one would have a window and a door on each end, providing easy egress—the Fire Department insisted on that—as well as ample light.

The makeshift homes would also include couches, chairs, lamps, and fresh toothpaste. Sounds nice!

The administration projects that each container would cost between $50,000 and $80,000, with hopes that FEMA would cover much of the budget.

“When you’ve lost everything, you need everything, and it’s the little things that count,” said William Begley, director of Sea Box, a company that’s worked with the administration on the plan. “t’s just like moving into an extended-stay hotel, like a Homestead Suites or a StayAmerica.”

Read the fascinating full report here.

(Photo: christopher charles/Flickr)