Re: Variations on low cost housing
From: Brian Bartholomew (
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 18:11:48 -0700 (PDT)
> One of the interesting things they found was that teenagers would go
> out and build their own houses at about 14. At first the teenagers
> had their own houses but came back to the main house for meals. At
> 16, they tended to be more self-sufficient and only visited once a
> day or so.
> That experience, I think, says something interesting about how
> independent children are ready to be at what ages. If I had a
> million dollars to invest, I would build group homes for teens and
> post teens who are not ready and can't afford to live alone but need
> to be on their own. Something similar to college dorms for kids who
> don't go to college. They don't have the advantage of that
> transition.
> But for low cost housing, thinking things like this might help.

Thought experiment: someone gives you that million dollars.  How do
you permit these habitable outbuildings, in what zoning, such that the
children aren't hauled off to foster homes or jail for one reason or
another?  Where in metro Washington DC, full of entry-level jobs in
everything and cheap transportation, would 14 year olds be allowed to
work full time, not attend school, build their own houses (marry,
raise children, etc.)?  How does a reputable developer solve these
legal problems on a budget of 15% of a $20K starter cottage?


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