For many people, the chance of owning their own house is very slim indeed. However, the 20K House project by Rural Studio, an off-campus design-build program of Auburn University, aims to tackle this, and make house ownership possible for more people with an attractive and safe modern property for just US$20,000.

The 20K House project was launched in 2005 by Rural Studio in an effort to address the need for local affordable housing while offering an alternative to mobile homes. The price tag of $20,000 derives from what was felt to be the highest mortgage a person receiving Social Security checks could realistically afford to pay.

To date, Rural Studio has designed 12 different versions of the 20K House, each of which cost roughly $12,000 for materials, with $8,000 of the budget set aside for contracted labor and profit.

The houses themselves range greatly in size, shape, and materials used, but all sport a carefully-considered design and boast useful features such as a concrete safe room for protection from tornadoes, and passive cooling.

Rural Studio is currently raising funds to build eight new 20K Houses in the Hale County area, and the group is also aiming to change the 20K House from a project to a mass-marketed product. To this end, the organization is currently working on refining its production process, including ensuring the homes meet Federal Housing Administration standards.

Source: Rural Studio