The $300 House competition

Back in 2011, there was an official competition to design a $300 house. If you go to 300house.com you can learn about this fascinating project/contest whose goal was to design a $300 house for the world’s two billion poorest inhabitants. The basic parameters went like this:

We started with five simple questions:

* How can organic, self-built slums be turned into livable housing?

* What might a house-for-the-poor look like?

* How can world-class engineering and design capabilities be utilized to solve the problem?

* What reverse-innovation lessons might be learned by the participants in such a project?

* How could the poor afford to buy this house?

The goal is to design, build, and deploy a simple dwelling which keeps a family safe from the weather, allows them to sleep at night, and gives them a little bit of dignity. If we can give the poor a chance to live safely and build an inclusive ecosystem of services around them which includes, clean water, sanitation, health services, family planning, education, and micro enterprise, maybe we can start reducing the disease of poverty. By helping create this ecosystem, we believe companies can make money while providing services needed by the poor at an affordable cost. The poor deserve a chance, a real chance, to make it out of poverty.

We have looked at several ideas in this arena in the House series. Several examples:
Inexpensive housing for the developing world
Foam and steel construction makes a quick, inexpensive, super-efficient house
Build yourself an Earthship for an ultra-sustainable green lifestyle
An inexpensive home using recycled wood and natural materials
Building a house for $3,500

See also: Can a $300 House Save 2 Billion People Living in Poverty? [PICS]

Other House Ideas