Posted by Dick Strayer and Kelly Greene on May 15, 2014


(Dick, Service Above Self recipient with experience in Rotary Low-Cost Shelters. Kelly is a new member of One World Rotary and a Realtor.)



This is a look at homes from the rudimentary to the outlandish homes.

Even some of the so called homeless have homes. There are people that live in quite ingenious places like tents, assembled with wood, metal, tree branches, tents, caves, even card board boxes on the streets of Los Angeles, California.


A project in Guatemala distributed wheelchairs to the needy. A wheel chair recipient is shown sitting in the wheelchair in front of her home. The home was about 3 feet x 6 foot x 5 feet high. The only furniture was the chair seen behind the wheelchair. The woman slept on the floor.

On the spot, it was decided to replace the home by the Rotary Clubs of Gualan in Guatemala and Simi Sunrise in the USA by a concrete block home that cost about $1,100. Pictured on the right, the Rotarian with the microphone is One World Member Karina Zambrano's father, Cesar. The lady is in her wheelchair under the Rotary wheel on the side of her new home. The man to the left is Rotarian, Kurt who was responsible for building the home.


Temporary homes are available in times of emergency. One relatively new program supported by Rotary is one of supplying tents and other supplies, called Shelter Boxes. Information can be found the One World Program of December 7, 2012 . Temporary Shelters can also be made of paper - see One World Program of October 11, 2013.


Low-Cost Shelters was the initiative of Glen Kinross, President of Rotary International 1997-98, in Bangladesh in the 1990's. This project included 530 homes as well as an orphanage home. An additional 42 Low Cost Shelters were completed under Kalyan Banerjee, RI President 2011-12. Additional units have been added with future ones being planned.

Rotary Low-Cost Shelters Bangladesh 2012: 8:43 min



More recently Rotary low cost homes were built in at Vila San Luis, Francisco Beltrao, Brazil using a Matching grant.Over 10,000 low cost shelters have been built in 18 countries. The value of the projects goes far beyond the acquisition of buildings--It is a life-changing experience for some of the world's most underprivileged people.


A similar Rotary project home construction was done in Bacolod, Philippines. Dick with Rotarian Rick Zander at the site of several homes funded by the Rotary clubs of D5240. One home is behind the sign and cost $1,500.

A major earthquake hit Bhuj, Gujurrat, India killing 20,000 people and destroying 400,000 homes. Led by Past RI President Saboo, two 3-H grants were approved to build several hundred homes at $1,500 each. As a member of the Rotary Cadre, Dick reviewed the project. Photo to left is a family accepting their new home.

Below is a man that takes pride in his new home by adding valence above the door, embedding gold in small door to left and ornamentation on his roof.


Rotary at work to promote goodwill and world peace through service.


High End Homes

Bill Gates home is 66,000-square-foot but cost less at $63 million. Bill Gates Foundation did donate $400 million to Rotary's project to eliminate polio.To the other end of the spectrum of homes, a Russian billionaire Milner, paid $100 million for a French chateau-style mansion of the 25,500-square-foot home in Los Altos Hills, California, USA.


The twenty-seven story, 400,000-square foot skyscraper residence has six underground levels of parking, three helicopter pads, a 'health' level, and requires a staff of 600. It is the world's most expensive home far and away with construction costs topping $1 billion.Most expensive home in the World is in Antilia, Mumbai, India. With a value over $1,000,000,000, it is less than 5% of the owner's net worth. The value of this home is the same as 500,000 homes that could be built through Rotary's Low Cost shelter.



Very unusual homes you should enjoy watching, please watch the following short video.
(If you are interested in buying any of the homes below, I doubt if Kelly can help you! You can try at )

The MOST unusual houses in the world: 1:26 min:


If you have the time and interest, you may want to watch the following video showing unusual, interesting and awesome homes around the world.

Unique and Unusual Houses: 4:32:



World's thinnest Home – Poland



Transparent Home – Poland




Underground Home – Coober Pedy Australia (as well as stores, bars and a church)


Website Sponsors