I signed up for one of those free introductions to "flipping houses" in the Portland (OR) area. This one is being offered by the stars of a cable TV program on the A&E channel. I think it is called "Flipping Boston" because that is where the program is located. I don't have cable, so I have no idea what they do on their program, but I am fond of the idea of rehabilitating houses and would love to both house people and make money. I will let you know how it went. :-)
My goal is housing for the poor... especially for those who are homeless or at the very low regions of the economic ladder, here and all over the globe. I have been very hopeful since I first discovered the $20K House program at Auburn University ( rural studio ). If I remember right, they build at least one home a year as part of their education program.
I was just amazed that any livable house could be built for $20,000 anywhere in the USA!! In urban areas like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. the main issue is the cost of land, in rural areas the main issues are jobs and transportation. I would like to find solutions for as many as possible. The cost of land in large cities requires some kind of apartment structure, so I am trying to find a way to make $20K apartments. I have seen stackable units, like shipping containers, that seem to be popular, and a good effort in that direction, but the ones I saw were still not affordable for poor people.
I have seen houses made from 100 shipping pallets -- that would work anywhere in the world that had fair weather. Once you start looking for information, you find all kinds of options for housing that don't fit the single-family-dwelling model. I have been surprised by it myself. The "tiny house" movement is another way people have adapted to having their own home space.
When you don't have a home at all, the climate elements you live in become a major challenge. Here in the northwestern parts of the USA, there is a lot of rain in the winter months, and sometimes snow. The sun may not be as hot as the desert, but when you can't find relief from it, it is like being in a sauna... so hot it can lead to the death of people on the streets, like snow in other areas does. I feel it is better to have some kind of shelter, even if it is only a vehicle, than to be outside in the elements. Poverty has led me to be homeless too many times and in too many places. I would like to see others kept from these hardships.
One option that is reasonably prices is the use of those huge "garden storage units" I have seen at home improvement stores. Some of these are as big or bigger than actual apartments I have lived in. Because they don't have the facilities we need for continued living, living in one of these would be like camping in the forest. Like campgrounds, they could be gathered into one land space where outdoor toilets, water sources, and power links can be created. My focus is that some shelter is better than no shelter...especially for women and children.
So, the main problem is land space. I am hoping I will find a way to overcome that issue with the class information I discover about flipping houses. One step at a time... one property at a time... one family at a time... hopefully, I will be able to share some of my solutions with you.