A UNIQUE RURAL INFILL HOUSING INITIATIVE
KANSAS HOUSING RESOURCE CORPORATION
SMALL TOWN STUDIO KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE
THRIVE ALLEN COUNTY
A BOLDER HUMBOLDT
Many rural properties in our region have been abandoned or neglected for years, creating a gap in the housing market and a loss of potential income for the owners. Our shelter initiative aims to address this issue by partnering with local authorities, community organizations and property owners to revitalize these forgotten infill properties and transform them into affordable and sustainable housing units. By doing so, we hope to create more opportunities for low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities to access safe and dignified shelters, while also preserving the rural character and heritage of our area. Our initiative will also provide training and support for property owners who want to improve their skills and knowledge of property management, maintenance, and renovation. We believe that building capacity with forgotten infill rural properties is fundamental to creating a sense of prosperity and pride in a community.
A Rural Community Design Center
105 w Third Street
Eureka Kansas 67045
Get in touch … we’ll start a project!
The limited availability of quality, affordable housing is an emergent and seemingly universal crisis. Rural areas, however, have been experiencing this crisis for quite some time. While housing in rural regions is less expensive than in urban or even suburban areas, quality is decidedly lacking. Housing stock is generally in poor condition, and due to lack of capital for investment and low property valuation, continues to degrade over time. Compounding this, rural housing needs consistently have less access to public or non-profit housing assistance. Those who live in rural areas are used to being more or less on their own.
The ethos of self-sufficiency, one of the most admirable qualities of rural people, is what informs the Unfinished House project. The project melds prefabricated modules with barn style on-site construction. This creates a durable, habitable shell that contains all the components necessary for living with a lower cost and construction schedule than normative methods. The modules, sourced from existing, local manufacturers, contain the Unfinished House’s plumbed and energized services. The exterior service module is rated to serve as an above-ground storm shelter, eliminating the cost of a basement.
The shell of the Unfinished House is built using wood and steel building techniques, allowing for rapid construction. The roof, and cladding are durable, resilient, and allow for a wide range of design options. The site-built shell straddles the interior kitchen/bathroom module, dividing the ground floor into a living area and a bedroom.
The Unfinished House, as its name suggests, is not entirely complete. The ground floor spaces are finished and move-in ready. The upper level has an unfinished bedroom and bonus living/office area, ready for painting and flooring, and a future full bathroom, rough plumbed-in and ready to be completed as the resident needs. Finishes and fixtures are some of the most accessible aspects of construction to do-it-yourselfers and leaving these elements out of the build contract reduces material and labor costs. This strategy has been used in affordable housing around the world. Alejandro Arevena, the 2016 Pritzker Prize-winning architect, developed a similar system called the Half-Built House to wide acclaim. His system maximized the utility of capital raised for affordable housing in Chile, and that is a major underlying principle of the Unfinished House.
Another admirable quality of small towns is community, neighbors helping neighbors. While the unfinished portion of the house may be taken on by the occupant or hired tradespersons, volunteer groups, charities, students or friends and family could be involved.
When finished, the 1770 square foot starter home will have two bedrooms and two baths, a living area, a kitchen and dining space, and a service room/storm shelter. Having one of the bedrooms downstairs ensures accessibility for elderly or disabled residents. Larger models will have three bedrooms (one downstairs and two upstairs), or two bedrooms and an expanded living area upstairs. These units would work as single-family detached, duplexes, townhomes, or as infill in depopulated rural downtowns. This versatility, coupled with cost reduction measures and speedy construction, makes the Unfinished House perfectly suited for rural affordable housing.
TODD GABBARD | COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE, PLANNING & DESIGN // K-STATE
Welcome to 803 Pecan St. Humboldt Kansas,
a new residence four blocks from the town square. Located in a century old town undergoing a major restoration. A welcoming family-oriented community that is well on their way to becoming a destination/lifestyle community. Enjoy walking or biking leading you to shops, eateries & entertainment.
A Bolder Humboldt you will enjoy your new lifestyle.
A 1770 sq ft two story residence with an contemporary vernacular style post and beam structure common to the rural countryside. Reminiscent of a simpler time.
Two Bedrooms, Zoom/Office/media, two full baths.
A hybrid vernacular Style Home with an urban flare. A gorgeous kitchen includes Stainless Steel Appliances, convenient island and spacious pantry/saferoom. Beautifully appointed fixtures, concrete floors, Countertops throughout complement elegant cabinetry. Saferoom (based on FEMA standards) optional sunroom and carport/garage
This residence includes a tax abatement contract provided by the City of Humboldt!
Available for acquisition mid 2023
THE MID $160’S
BUILD MODERATE HOUSING THAT IS VALUABLE, OBTAINABLE, AND RELEVANT TO BOLD REEMERGING RURAL COMMUNITIES
“Communities that can confront the housing shortage locally are the ones that will thrive. By building a local industry, every house that is built can infuse money into the community, build wealth and solidify a prosperous community.”
It is time to re-evaluate how rural housing is programmed, designed, built, financed, and marketed.
put together on site