Students at Auburn University’s Rural Studio have developed an attractive home that can be built for just $20,000! Rural Studio was founded in 1993 and it works to improve living conditions in rural Alabama. Now in its 20th year, the group is launching a fundraising competition in order to build eight more of these modestly priced dwellings - and eventually they hope to scale up production so that even more Alabama residents can have access to affordable housing.
Rural Studio’s unique program focuses on providing its students with practical building experience, and directs that effort towards providing affordable housing solutions to the impoverished communities of Alabama’s Black Belt. Students are presented with an opportunity to build houses for real people and help solve some of the practical problems often encountered on building sites.
The 20K City Challenge is dedicated to raising $160,000 by December 6, 2013. Donors from cities throughout the country will compete to reach the fundraising goal and the first city to do so will have the honor to name each of the 20K houses.
In order to keep the houses affordable, Rural Studio is looking to partner up with nonprofit organizations. Each year, the 20K house undergoes alterations and adjustments to provide maximum comfort with minimum investment. The studio has already built 12 houses, the last of which featured passive heating and a safe-room in the shower, which proved to be necessary after 23 people died in the devastating Moore tornado earlier this year.