Continuing the discussion from What would be your dream XPRIZE?:
• Huge shortage of affordable housing. This shortage causes:
• People to rent housing forever – crippling their ability to become financially self-sufficient.
• Forces people to live in bad neighborhoods; exposing themselves and their children to unnecessary dangers.
• Forces people to live in overcrowded parts of cities where air quality is so bad that an estimated several thousand people per day (in the US alone) are diagnosed with serious respiratory problems that are caused by air pollution.
• Forces lower income people to choose between “heat or eat” every winter. Low cost housing tends to be grossly energy inefficient. In winter money can go for sufficient food or sufficient fuel – but not both. Children lose out either way.
• Causes children to receive insufficient parenting time because parents need to work two or three jobs just to pay the mortgage. Children raised in day care centers are at a huge disadvantage compared to children who grow up in their own homes.
• Contributes heavily to the excessive divorce rate. Financial struggles are a leading cause of divorce in the US.
Design a practical building system that enables middle and lower income persons to own a high quality house to live in.
The Prize Purse
The idea prize would be an amount sufficient to actually build a small community from the best design or designs. Many talented people have worked hard to develop ideas for cost effective housing; but without the cash to build more than a lone prototype, the ideas accomplish nothing for the greater good.
• Design criteria would include initial cost, energy efficiency, physical safety, carbon footprint, and overall practically of physical construction.
• Houses would have to meet building codes standards for legal occupancy.
• As the really high cost of land is a large part of the problem; designs should be capable of being located OFF GRID.
• This proposal is based on the housing problem in the US. If we can beat the problem here; we should also be able to beat the problem in other parts of the world.