Rural Studios, which began with Auburn University architecture students in 1993, has constructed dozens of buildings for the nation's poorest regions. In 2005, the program built it's first $20,000 house. Since then, it has built 15 more $20,000 houses. Now Rural Studios hopes to bring some of those plans to the market soon.

The $20,000 target is based on the smallest loan amount that a person living on Social Security could afford through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural housing loan program. For Rural Studios, that means spending about $12,000 on materials and $8,000 for labor and contractor profit. The program's associate director Rusty Smith says that Rural Studios could probably make houses cost even less. Read More