I am still trying to figure out how to share the information I discover by it's main topic, but have only had the time and energy to write on my main blog at working-together-inc.BlogSpot.com most of the time. Today I am trying to remember what I can and share some of the housing issues I came across at this blog.
I found a Yahoo News article on houses made of pallets, which I shared on a blog or Facebook post. Two of the houses were notable, one that looked like a little house and another that looked like a shipping container house. I copied them and sent the photos to two of my sons that might be interested in seeing how they are constructed. I couldn't find a link to the creators to find out for myself, but it is on my list of things to look for one day. :-) I don't have the photos to share here, but I am beginning to figure out how to share photos in the future, too.
I also found an article about an abandoned property in Texas that had an assisted living structure partially built on 15 acres. I thought it was a rural development, but it is outside Houston and has major neighborhoods by it (they changed the photo since I read it the first time). If you could secure the acreage, it would be semi-rural... I don't know what the zoning is, but big gardens and livestock would be nice to have on that large of a land space.
In the major city by where I live, an acre is about a square city block. A YouTube video I watched a long time ago said an acre is almost the size of a football field. An acre of any crop would be a lot...but the basics for living would be goats, chickens, maybe horses, and as much food as you could grow.
Because I was not able to work enough hours to pay rent at the last apartment I lived in, I was evicted. Now, I am taking a community housing class for 12 weeks to try to get back into rental housing. It gets harder and harder to rent anything anywhere, but if you have other issues to overcome (like evictions, criminal records, poverty, disabilities, etc.), the choices are even less.
I think home ownership is the way to create stability in poverty households...and hoped to build a program trough Working Together to start the process. I may try a KICKSTARTER campaign to raise funds for the effort. I am reading about it now.
There are some young mothers in my class. I remember how hard I tried to stay in housing and wasn't able to, and had no one to help me purchase. We suffered so many times and so needlessly because of these same income/rental issues. I always wanted to find a better solution. I would like to see these young mothers (sisters) find houses they and their children could live in permanently. It isn't impossible, but it does take flexibility and patience and someone with the financial ability to work through the ongoing problems that come with changing your life.
If you pay rent anyway, why not pay on a mortgage? I think there are lots of options for this cause, including abandoned homes and properties, HUD houses, foreclosures, Habitat for Humanity renovations, partnerships, coop's, selling subsidized housing to the occupants, tiny houses, $20.000 Homes, campgrounds for those who like them, mobile homes, trailers, rural land spaces, rooftops, etc. It is better to work with someone in one place than to have that person be forced out of place after place after place for the same issues...especially when children are involved.
In my housing searches, I have discovered that toilets don't have to be connected to sewer systems anymore, and collecting grey water is an achievable tool for land and financial conservation. It may become a survival issue. These two things, alone, change the purpose of current housing regulations. Solar options, wind options, methane energy, water-generated energy, and other green strategies allow owners to live more cheaply and individually.
I don't think governments and utilities like these realities, but they exist and will grow whether they are approved of by tax collecting or tax using organizations or not.
Low-income households desperately need stability as much, or more, than any other family groups. What they need that isn't available in the traditional financial markets is flexibility in their payments, no money down, and someone to help them grow into the changes that home ownership creates.
If I get my crowd-funding campaign going, I will be sure to let you know. :-)