, ,

5 Examples of Makeshift Housing

Caught up in the daily complications that life throws at them, people do not often sit back and think about how lucky they are to have a roof over their heads. Not everyone has that luxury: according to the Salvation Army, there are over 100 million homeless people in the world. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Greenbuilding fight to lower this statistic by building houses in underprivileged neighborhoods. Lacking access to conventional building materials, people living in impoverished areas are forced to make do with what they can find to build passable living spaces. Below are descriptions of five makeshift homes built from unusual materials. The descriptions are bittersweet, for although it is impressive that people are able to come up with such designs, it is unfortunate that they are put in such a position at all.

5 Examples of Makeshift Housing

1. Storage container homes
Widely used for shipping and storing, there is no shortage of these containers lying around out of use. Homes made from shipping containers have become a highly popularized fad and are all the rage with home décor enthusiasts, but in this context they are often used as a desperate measure rather than as a chic building material. The storage container village located in Shanghai and inhabited by poor migrants is just one example of such establishments used by the homeless in similar areas across the globe.

2. The Paul Elkins Shelter
This “mobile home” on wheels is perhaps better described as a mobile bed, as its small dimensions can hardly be described as a house. The amazingly compact, 225-lb. living space not only has a bed, however, but also a bathroom, and even has a small stove crammed inside. Although tiny, it is still useful for staying out of the elements.

3. Dai Haifei’s Egg House
It is not always in rural, historically poor areas that makeshift housing becomes a necessity. Dai Haifei was forced to create an egg-shaped dwelling when he could not afford any of the rental options available in Beijing. Built from eco-friendly materials like bamboo, wood chippings and grass seed, the six foot-high egg is also expected to grow blooms in the spring – an aesthetic bonus to a practical structure.

4. Cob homes
One of the oldest building materials known to man, cob is a mixture of sand, clay, straw, earth and water. Used for construction since prehistoric times, it is perhaps the cheapest and most readily available material in the world. Cob homes are often bolstered and adorned with wood, recycled materials found in landfills and animal fur for insulation.

5. A Hole in the Ground
With an income of just $5,000 a year, Dan Price calls an underground space, which measures eight feet around, his home. Located in the town of Joseph, Oregon, Price leases the property on which the structure is built for a meager $100 a year. The hole is equipped with a door, a small stove and pantry and electricity – but Price plans to switch to propane in the near future. He has an extremely positive attitude and could ask for nothing more, claiming that the environment is low stress.

Katie Pickle

Sources: Home Harmonizing, Build
Photo: Financial Post