We’ve been fans of Rural Studio ever since my husband was an architecture student at Auburn University in the late 1980s. (While RS officially started in 1993, founder Sam Mockbee presented the idea at a symposium in 1989.) This fantastic program takes architecture students into the poorest counties in rural Alabama to design and build affordable housing and other community projects.
Now, according to CityLab, RS will begin selling plans for houses that can be built for $20,000. From the article:
The next step is for partners to field-test the designs. Rural Studio has talked to a variety of groups in the South about building them, including nonprofit housing corporations, parks and recreation departments, and an artist community. “We’re interested in seeing how different groups respond to the plans based on their needs, their funding, their siting,” Butts says. Three prototypes in the new product line will break ground shortly.
Rural Studio hopes to start selling the plans soon, although Butts can’t say exactly when. The price hasn’t been finalized, but the aim is to keep them highly affordable. Earlier 20K houses give us an idea what to expect: They’ll be small (under 1,000 square feet) and reminiscent of traditional Southern shotgun houses, with gabled metal roofs and generous porches.
Per my previous post, the hubby and I have had a little trouble finding affordable housing here in Fort Collins. (He gave up architecture years ago and became a Rolfer. We call him the world’s only Rolfitect. He and I are both self-employed and starting our own practices.) Maybe we’ll buy a piece of land and build one of RS’s $20,000 houses for ourselves!
Photo: © Danny Wicke by permission.