Many people around the world simply don’t have the opportunity to purchase their own home. However, Rural Studio has tackling the problem since 2005 with their 20K House project.
Rural Studio is an off-campus design and build program run by Auburn University, and is attempted to make home ownership viable for the less well off. Their main goal is to create safe and comfortable homes for just $20,000.
The program was launched in response to the need for affordable local housing and it was designed to offer people a competitive alternative (financially speaking) to mobile homes. The total cost of the houses, just $20,000, was derived from the maximum perceived amount that someone on Social Security checks could afford to pay.
Rural Studio has currently completed 12 different houses as part of the 20K House project. Each house has cost approximately $12,000 for materials, and a further $8,000 is reserved for external contractors and profit (which is presumably fed back into the program).
There’s quite a bit of variety among the houses, with no two alike. They’re all different sizes, and are built and finished with different materials, but each house has been meticulously designed. The houses contain features such as a concrete safe room, protecting the inhabitants from tornadoes, and passive cooling to minimise the owners need for expensive air-conditioning.
Rural Studio are currently looking to expand upon their existing portfolio of houses – they’re looking to build an additional eight 20K Houses in Hale County. In the future they hope to change 20K House from a university program to a mass-marketed product. If you’d like to get involved by volunteering or donating to the program, why not visit their website.