The $2,500 Portable House

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Shipping’s included in the price, and the home can be assembled in two hours.

The house is called the Habihut, and the NY Times profiles the group from Montana that used to build high-end vacation homes in ski country but has now shifted its focus to building one-room 118-square-foot, honeycomb-like houses that could be a perfect fit for places that desperately need safe, affordable housing. A few Habihuts are already in use in Kenya and Haiti.

The two-hour claim is legit, at least according to this time-lapse YouTube video, in which some Habihut folks put one of the homes together in a little over 50 minutes—after which a guy takes some swings at the structure with an axe and a baseball bat to demonstrate how durable it is.

Some numbers per the Times:

The HabiHut weighs about 400 pounds, packs down to a 4-foot-by-8-foot crate, and costs $2,500, which includes shipping with bulk orders. It can be assembled in an hour or two with just a screwdriver, will last up to 15 years, and can be combined with other HabiHuts as a family expands or other needs arise.

While selling one home at a time is nice, Habihut has grander visions. One product it proposes is a Village in a Box, and it is raising money—a mere $200,000 is all it takes—to build an entire community to replace a tent camp in Kenya inhabited by people displaced by violence. Again, per the Times:

The village will have 50 HabiHuts, two water kiosks, three sanitation kiosks, a cellphone charging station and a $15,000, three-kilowatt solar dish. In the United States, that dish would power just one 3,500-square-foot home.

The $200,000 cost even includes shipping. “That’s everything you need,” Sean Weas said. “The solar dish, the water, sanitation and shelter.”

$200,000 and you get an entire village! $200,000, by the way, is $16,700 less than the median price of a single new home sold in the U.S. in 2009.