There is no doubt that their is a continued housing problem in America. It isn’t necessarily that housing isn’t available or that financing isn’t available. The problem is that the size of homes is growing larger than families need, the costs are going up exponentially (and this is based on a number of factors), and financing it making many families “house poor.” That is the face of an American housing crisis in this new Millennium. Two graduate students are ready to travel coast to coast to challenge the housing norm and to learn more about how help can be offered to this new plague.
Charlotte Robin and Jack Pasi are challenging the status quo by driving around the country, 11,000 miles in total; in a 48-square-foot tiny home towed by a 2005 Honda Pilot showing people there are creative solutions for housing.
The tiny house on wheels, called MOBii, has all the functions of a regular home, but with a price tag of only $3,000 to build. It is also lightweight enough to be towed by practically any car with a hitch.
MOBii originally came to fruition in the Spring of 2015 when a class of environmental students at Elon University led by Prof. Robert Charest created an experimental design to see how small of a space two people could live in, thereby challenging the standard American home size of 2,500 sq.ft.
From June 19 to Aug. 15, Robin and Pasi will put this experiment to the final test by living and traveling in MOBii. Starting from Jack’s hometown of Exeter, New Hampshire, the two will travel down the East Coast stopping in New York City, Washington, D.C., the Outer Banks, Charleston, South Carolina en route to Key West in Florida. From there they will drive west to New Orleans, Louisiana, Dallas, Texas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Los Angeles, California. From Los Angeles the duo will travel northward along the Pacific Coast to San Francisco and then trek to Salt Lake City, Utah up to Mayville, North Dakota before they head back south to St. Louis, Missouri, Nashville, Tennessee until they reach their final destination of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
This trip hopes to show that affordable housing can be possible for everyone. It promotes a paradigm shift in the way we view housing as an imperative in addressing homelessness. You can see the projected budget online. At each stop along the route the couple hope to spread social awareness about the housing problem, in hopes that it will get the conversation started about affordable housing. Showing people across the country that two of people can live in a space smaller than most people’s rooms demonstrates that affordable housing shouldn’t be a factor causing families to fade into homelessness.