...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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June 08, 2005 || 2:15 am

I feel like I've blogged way too many long posts recently, forgetting the first rule of blogging is brevity. So today, just a quick update:

We went to visit the client for the next iteration of the $20,000 house today. In case I haven't explained before, we're now getting a contractor involved to test out our design in the commercial world, as all along the idea of developing the prototype was that it could become almost a cottage industry for the area - allowing the community to rely less on the charity of people like us or the dreaded Habitat for Humanity and creating jobs and a more sustainable means of housing provision in the area. The dream is still (at least for me) to create a co-operative building company, training young people to be able to build our house design and others - but as I'm sadly going to be leaving Alabama soon, that's going to have to wait (for next year's generation of Outreach students, perhaps?).

So at this stage we have teamed up with a local small contractor to start building versions of the house for people who have qualified for the Rural Development loan. The first is Clara Harris, in Gainesville, who has qualified for a $30k loan and currently lives in a house built only 30 years ago but already decrepit. It is really uninhabitable but here, anything that still has some form of house-like form is lived in and like Miss Phillips, she keeps it impeccably clean. But still, a 30 year old house that already needs replacing - it's a cautionary tale to us and I can only hope that our house is better built and will last twice as long.

Miss Harris is pretty sprightly and talks faster than anyone I've met out here in the land of the slow drawl. She obviously knows what she wants and is reassuringly unsentimental, opting to site her new house right in front of the old one which she is determined to demolish, in contrast to Miss Phillips, who we all know will love and cherish her old house until it rots down to the ground.



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