Auburn University Rural Studio’s 20K Initiative: The key to affordable home ownership

Article body

Rural Studio, a student-centered Design/Build program in Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction, announces that it has begun collaboration with Fannie Mae to support the school’s ongoing development of beautiful, healthy and resilient houses that afford financially vulnerable homeowners the ability to live in dignity, security, and well within their means.

The effort, known as the 20K Initiative, aspires to enable broader access to titled homeownership in underserved rural communities. The initiative looks to support both housing and local economies in rural markets and involves collaboration with a wide range of national partnerships and municipal stakeholders. The research developed from the initiative with Fannie Mae is being shared with other industry groups and educational institutions as part of an effort to address the shortage of affordable housing across the U.S.

“Fannie Mae is committed to helping find solutions for underserved markets in the U.S.,” says Michael Hernandez, Vice President, Fannie Mae. “Auburn’s program aims to find solutions in Alabama that can be applied nationwide. The support of their research effort goes to the heart of our affordable housing mission and complements our Duty to Serve initiative, especially when it comes to addressing the shortage of affordable housing in rural America.”

Auburn University is also providing funding for the initiative through the Presidential Awards for Interdisciplinary Research, or PAIR, grant that further strengthens the collaboration with Fannie Mae, as well as supports the development of additional stakeholder collaborations.

“The 20K Initiative through Rural Studio represents Auburn’s best as a land grant institution,” says Steven Leath, President of Auburn University. “By integrating teaching, research and service, the 20K Initiative improves lives in Alabama and around the country, brings quality, sustainable home ownership to citizens and builds stronger communities. We are proud to support rural prosperity through this PAIR grant award.”

PBS NewsHour recently featured the empowering work of Rural Studio as part of its “Chasing the Dream” series. You can watch this segment through YouTube at:

More information:

Auburn University Rural Studio
Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction
Auburn University
Fannie Mae

Related Media

More Information

In The News: 

Architects and Artisans: Rural Studio Links Up with Fannie Mae

Curbed: How a college architecture studio is tackling the affordable housing crisis Rural Studio’s 20K Homes Reveal the Systemic Problems Behind Affordable Housing

Fast Company: They built a $20k house–now they want to fix the housing system

Simply Southern

The College of Architecture, Design and Construction embraces the land grant mission of Auburn University by actively seeking ways to address and anticipate the critical issues of the region, the nation, and the world. The College's highly regarded programs in architecture, industrial design, landscape architecture, construction management and real estate development as well as unique off-campus programs such as Rural Studio, Urban Studio, futures studio and the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Program expand the boundaries of the classroom and offer an unmatched educational experience.