The ProHousing Project
The Shared House
According to our latest census, only 40% of American homes are occupied by the
traditional family unit of mother, father and children. The rest of the houses
are occupied by single persons, single parents with children or groups of non-related
people sharing a common dwelling. This obviously indicates that a new concept of
house design is in order that takes dwelling-sharers into consideration.
The typical current shared housing consists of several individuals, rather than a
family unit, who buy or rent a standard three or four bedroom house, then occupy
their own bedrooms and share kitchen and bathroom facilities.
The problem with shared housing today is that the existing houses are not designed
to fit the situation of non-related people living in close proximity. This scenario
provides a house specifically intended for such a use.
In the example on Figures 6 & 7 the shared house illustrated is more sensitive to
this special social unit and has been specifically designed to avoid some of the
problems common in shared housing today. It contains four private bedrooms, each
with private bath, and separate food storage for each occupant. The dining room,
kitchen, living room and laundry are shared.
Fig. 6 - Main Floor: 4-Unit Shared House (123 KB)
Fig. 7 - Second Floor: 4-Unit Shared House (89 KB)
By providing each occupant with a private bath and separate kitchen storage area,
including their own small refrigerator, the biggest complaints of shared housing
The area of the entire building is amazingly small, and yet fulfills all practical
requirements, provides for privacy, and encourages a harmonious life style.
A building of this type could easily blend in with the houses of a neighborhood
of traditional, single-family houses and probably conforms to all existing building
and zoning codes.
The success of this scenario for alleviating a large part of the housing problem
will depend on the ability to be able to establish a financing scheme to sell
shares of a shared house in much the same way that condominiums are sold.
Otherwise, the house financing will have to be borne by one individual who then
rents to others. Pro-Housing strongly supports shared financing to encourage
pride in and commitment to one's surroundings for each occupant, as well as the
practical opportunity for lower income people to establish equities.
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