Tiny houses are looking at going back even earlier than 1950, and that is a good idea. I would also like to see experiments with small houses along the lines of 1950s (or even a bit smaller). By reducing the high cost of housing we can drastically change personal finances for the non-rich in the USA (and elsewhere).
The innovative thinking by Cass Community Social Services discussed in the video in is the type of thinking we need to see more of. The Detroit non-profit is building tiny houses and making them available for rent to low income residents. The effort includes monthly personal finance and home care classes to make those tenants ready to transition to home owners (which they can do, buying the houses they start out renting).
The plan is to use the rent-to-own model. Rent is capped at 1/3 of income (and should be something around $250/month I think). The houses cost about $40,000 build and funding from the Ford Foundation has jump started this effort. The initial effort plans to build 25 tiny houses.
I think housing innovation is one of the areas with great potential to make people’s lives better by reducing the burden on people’s finances. Tiny houses are one method. Multi-generational housing communities is another. Dorm-like housing is another (I would have found this appealing after college). These apartment buildings seek to increase the social space in the building and encourage social interaction and also often have smaller units (bringing down the cost while providing benefits people desire – social options).
Nearly everyone reading this blog is very lucky financially. Even if they see many near them that are even luckier they are still financially fortunate.
I believe those of us who are lucky have an obligation to share with those that are not as fortunate. Many people are happy to help out more than they are already, but they need encouragement.
Two of the big challenges are to appeal to them in a captivating way (person connection are good – photos and videos help a great deal) and trustworthy opportunities. Sadly a significant issue is people seeing how willing people are to part with their money to help others and they figure they can get that money by just saying it will help others and then doing nothing, or very little for others (and keeping the cash for themselves).
So trustworthy appeals that engage happy to help both benefit those receiving funds and those giving funds.
I have long used TrickleUp, Kiva and Global Giving to help (and they each do a good job of engaging donors (tugging on their heartstrings and making them happy to give).
I try to give back to the places I visit. So I integrate this into my digital nomad life. As with many digital nomads I have an affinity for entrepreneurs and my charity often focuses on helping them (Global Giving does other things too – such as providing clean water, electricity, education and training…).
Trickle Up provides grants to entrepreneurs and provides significant training, support and a network of like minded people. Kiva is more well known and provides loans to entrepreneurs.