What if you want a house but can't afford it? Most of us in this boat are renting. But what if you had a morgage payment of around $60 a month?

The concept of the $20K house was featured in this month's Metropolitan Home. It is an interesting article about a design program in Alabama where students and others are working to design prototypes of homes that cost $20,000 to construct: $10,000 in materials and $10,000 in labor.

Like many good ideas, this concept came out of an idea to solve a problem, in this case one observed in rural Alabama:

Eventually Dorr (the organizer of the program) discovered that some of the widows had, in fact, applied to Rural Development, a U.S. Department of Agriculture program, for loans to help them buy a new house. "Their applications were getting approved," says Dorr. "There was a stack of them in our local office. And they were just sitting there." The problem, Dorr learned, was that although the women were deemed good credit risks, their incomes were so low — typically, $637 a month from Social Security — that they could afford to repay only a $20,000 loan. And everyone knows that there's no such thing as a $20,000 house. "Well, there wasn't at the time," Dorr says with a laugh.

Most of the houses are between 300-600 square feet and while this trend may be on the extreme thrift end, it does make you think about the possible ways we can make housing more affordable for everyone.

Check out the original article "The 20K House" in Metropolitan Home…
Check out the Rural Studio website…
Check out the Rural Studio blog..

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