RELEASE: Beat high housing costs: homestead the high seas
RELEASE: Beat high housing costs: homesteading the high seas.
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. 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 nearby sea.
"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.
Seasteaders cite a study by University of Washington economics professor Theo Eicher, which 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 expect to avoid the costs imposed by land use regulations. Seasteads can also 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."
Seasteading advocates point to the Netherlands, as an example of a country that has embraced the seasteading lifestyle. "In the Netherlands, many homes are built on floating platforms that are moored to the ocean floor. If the sea levels rise, the homes simply float on the water."
Seasteaders acknowledge that the deep ocean seasteads face some high hurdles. "We have to solve a lot of problems -- how do you deal with rogue waves? Get food? Find work?"
To work on some of those problems, the Seasteading Institute will host the first annual Seasteading Conference in Burlingame, CA on October 19th, 2008. To learn more, visit http://www.seasteading.org.