Affordable Housing Experiment in A Trailer Park
University of Colorado students have spent $44,000 to design and renovate an affordable housing project in Boulder, one of the most expensive real estate markets in the state. The home was unveiled to the public at an open house on September 21.
The experiment created one chic, loft-like home out of an old, single-wide trailer in a Boulder trailer park where the most recent home sold for $14,500. The asking price for the custom renovation is $50,000. If someone needing affordable housing pays that asking price, it will set a record for the trailer park.
The University of Colorado contributed $24,000 and Thistle Community Housing, a private, non-profit foundation, has chipped in an additional$20,000 to renovate the dumpy trailer into one glitzy, state-of-the-art “affordable home”. The trailer was salvaged and otherwise would have gone to a nearby landfill.
Boulder is home to The University of Colorado and reasonably price housing is difficult if not impossible to find. The average current sales price in Boulder is now $549,500.
The trailer is has two bedrooms, one bath and a large screened “exterior room”. The home measures 11×47 and The CU Architecture students didn’t cut any corners in the design and renovation. They used top-of-the-line new, double-pane windows, efficient spray-foam insulation, recessed lighting, and designer fixtures to create a chic look that would be the envy of even the most expensive Denver lofts.They even showed social conscience by using recycled jeans for some of the insulation. Here are more photos.
So, here is the question: Is this a good use of the money for affordable housing? Or, is it just an ineffective experiment to amuse the University of Colorado students and the non-profit Foundation? Is it an effective, “cutting edge” affordable housing program? We would like to hear your comments.
(Photos courtesy Denver Post and Inside CU)