RELEASE: Beat high housing costs: homestead the high seas

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Draft!!! Not for release

Mountain View, CA, August 18th, 2008.

Despite the recent downturn in real estate, the cost of a new home in many parts of the country remains beyond the reach of many people. For example, the median home price in the San Francisco Bay area hovers around half a million dollars.

The Seasteading Institute, a new non-profit(*) based in Mountain View, CA hopes to reduce housing costs in a unique fashion -- by promoting the colonization of the oceans.

"Building houses in the U.S. is heavily regulated, so the supply of new housing grows very slowly. As a result, the price of housing remains high." said Seasteading Institute founder Patri Friedman. Aa study by University of Washington economics professor Theo Eicher found that between 1989 and 2006, the median inflation-adjusted price of a Seattle house rose from $221,000 to $447,800. According to that study fully $200,000 of that increase was the result of land-use regulations.

"By building on the ocean, we can avoid the costs imposed by land use regulations. Seasteads can be built anywhere in the world, then towed into place. That means we can avoid the immigration restrictions, tariffs and other costs imposed on land based builders. Therefore, we can buy raw materials and labor wherever it is least expensive. Floating homes are also protected against sea level rises from global warming."

Seasteading advocates point to the Netherlands as an example of a country that is gradually moving to an aquatic lifestyle. "In the Netherlands, many homes are built on floating platforms moored to canal bottoms. If the sea levels rise, the homes simply float on the water."

Seasteaders acknowledge that the deep ocean seasteads face higher hurdles than houseboats. "We have to solve a lot of problems -- how do you deal with rogue waves? Generate power? Find work? Given the amount of time people already spend at sea on cruises, we think the time has come for permanent ocean settlements."

The Seasteading Institute will host the first annual Seasteading Conference in Burlingame, CA on October 10th, 2008, to explore these and other problems.

For more information, see the Institute's website,


   The Seasteading Institute
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(The Seasteading Institute is a California nonprofit corporation that is in the process of applying for recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.)