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Sustainability News

Sustainability Connect News

August 1, 2016

Tiny House

The Stardust Center for Affordable Homes & the Family is offering grants to Master of Sustainability Solutions (MSUS) students who participate in MSUS Culminating Experience projects that focus on affordable housing and community well-being. Starting in Fall of 2016, applications for the $1,500 (per student/per semester) grants will be open.

The Stardust grants are part of the wider effort, as ASU’s Director of the Julie Anne Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability Dr. Rob Melnick said, to “make MSUS applied projects the most amazing experience possible for every MSUS student.” For their part, grant winners must provide project proposals that focus on affordable housing and the family.

Currently there are two sustainable housing projects in development that qualify for the grants. A Tiny House project in Ketchum, Idaho led by Dr. Scott Cloutier of the ASU School of Sustainability (SOS), and a Tiny House Project in Tempe, AZ fostered by the city’s Development Services Director David Nakagawara, Dr. Scott Shrake the program director of the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering’s (FSE) Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS), and Paul Prosser, SOS’s Graduate Learning Projects Program Manager.

Most low cost housing in central Tempe is situated around the ASU campus and dominated by student occupancy, with limited options for small low-income families or couples who want to live in the city close to public transportation and other amenities. Conversely, in Ketchum, Idaho, land values have been driven up by wealthy citizens desiring second homes in the area, making it challenging to find affordable housing for low-income full-time residents. A tiny house development is a potential solution in both locations. Small, low-cost, low-maintenance homes for low-income residents, sharing amenities and living cooperatively, could provide housing that is affordable to over burdened earners, and increase community cohesion and interaction.

City staff are meeting with ASU faculty and staff, EVIT faculty and other interested parties to create a more defined project prospectus. Interested MSUS student participants can expect to work with architecture, landscape architecture, construction engineering and East Valley Institute of Technology students, as well as City of Tempe staff, to bring this project to fruition.