Breaking new ground: Exciting developments at the Front Porch Initiative

The past few months have been a busy time for the Front Porch Initiative, witnessing the completion of four houses and the ground breaking on two more. Including three other houses in the final planning stages, a total of nine homes are currently, or soon will be, under construction. These homes are the result of partnerships with affordable housing programs in the Southeast who leverage the technical knowledge developed through Rural Studio’s ongoing teaching and research with the practical assistance and model home plans developed by the Front Porch. Our collaborations highlight the best of Auburn’s mission: promoting the common good through teaching, research, and outreach. And each home attests to Front Porch’s mission of making equitable and affordable access to dignified, energy efficient, resilient, and healthy housing available to everyone.

Affordable Housing Resources

Affordable Housing Resources (AHR) in Nashville, TN was the first partner to break ground and complete a collection of four new homes on two lots. The collection of homes is made possible by Nashville’s R6 zoning, which allows for two properties on one lot, with certain restrictions. The homes are based on three different one-bedroom product line prototypes: one home is based on Dave’s House, one on MacArthur’s House, and two on Joanne’s House. AHR’s mission is to provide affordable housing to the Nashville region, and with an estimated monthly mortgage of $900, the homes are substantially more affordable than rent on one-bedroom apartments in the area.

Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity

On February 25, 2021 the Chipola Area Habitat for Humanity (CAHFH) broke ground on two more homes in Jackson County, FL, and two more are planned. The homes will be built on a narrow parcel of land held by CAHFH’s portfolio of properties, making the small footprint of Front Porch model homes ideal for this location. Two of the homes are one-bedroom, based on Buster’s House and Dave’s House, while the others are two-bedroom homes based Joanne’s House and Sylvia’s House. Sylvia’s House is a new addition to Front Porch’s model home catalog developed specifically for this project, adding another option to the product line offerings. The homes will be partially built through a new partnership with the Building Construction Technology program at Chipola College that enables students enrolled in the Construction Technology program to earn class credits in exchange for building the CAHFH homes.

Eastern Eight CDC

(L – R) Sherry Trent, Eastern Eight CDC (E8CDC); John Dillow, E8CDC; Richard McClain, Johnson City Housing Authority; Aaron Murphy, City of Johnson City Commissioner; Rusty Smith, AURS; Steven Dixon, Bank of Tennessee VP and E8CDC Board Chair; & Walter Crouch, Appalachia Service Project

Eastern Eight CDC (E8CDC) is a certified Community Housing Development Organization that provides a range of services to clients in an eight-county service area of eastern Tennessee. Using a HUD Community Development Block Grant, they are partnered with Front Porch to build a model home based on the Sylvia’s House product line offering. E8CDC does not currently offer plans for one- and two-bedroom homes, but they believe this model home will attract more interested residents to pursue small unit offerings. The Front Porch team and E8CDC celebrated the groundbreaking on April 8, 2021.

Photo credits
AHR: Thank you to AHR for providing images by Ford Photographs.

CAHFH: Thank you to CAHFH for providing their own photographs above.