73-year-old pays just $370 a month to live on a jetliner in the Oregon woods
Great for the pocketbook. Great for the environment.
Over the past few years, the rising costs of homes and rent in the U.S. has pushed many to seek alternatives to traditional housing. People have been moving into tiny houses, sharing spaces with “platonic life partners” and living the nomad dream in motorhomes.
Some have even opted to take up permanent residence aboard cruise ships because it can be cheaper than paying rent or a mortgage.
One of the most unique, alternative homes in the US is Bruce Campbell’s in Hillsboro, a suburb of Portland, Oregon. According to CNBC, for over 20 years, the retired engineer has called a Boeing 727 200-passenger jetliner home. It’s a little smaller than the average house at 1,066 square feet, but it’s an open-concept lovers’ fantasy.
The plane has everything Campbell needs to live comfortably. The original sink and bathroom are in perfect working order. He added a makeshift shower, refrigerator and portable washing machine to take care of all his needs.
“It’s a great toy. Trick doors, trick floors. Hatches here, latches there. Cool interior lights. Awesome exterior lights, sleek gleaming appearance, titanium ducts," he said according to Awesome Inventions.
His jetliner home also has retractable stairs so he can climb in and out of his place. Campbell lives in the plane six months a year and spends the rest of his time in Japan.
"I can appreciate that some folks might feel isolated or that it might strike them as an unusual living environment. But for me, it has always felt completely natural,” Campbell told Great Big Story.
Some may find Campbell's living arrangement strange but they can't argue with its affordability. He told CNBC that his monthly expenses are around $370, which includes $220 a month in property taxes and $100 to $250 a month in electricity. Campbell paid $100,000 for the plane initially and it cost $120,000 to make it habitable.
The engines have been removed so the plane will never fly again.
The plane is an affordable place to live and it’s also great for the environment. “Jetliners can, and should, be transformed into wonderful homes—retirement into an aerospace-class castle should be every jetliner's constructive fate. They should never be mindlessly scrapped. Shredding a beautiful and scintillating jetliner is a tragedy, a waste, and a profound failure of human imagination. The time for humanity to recognize this is long, long overdue,” he said according to the CBC.
Campbell has found an innovative and creative way to live well while finding a way to upcycle 70,000 pounds of materials that would have wound up in a landfill. But he’s not done yet. He hopes to start on a second airplane home in Japan which he describes as “a land I love and with people I love. If I can simply regain my youth, everything will be fine.”
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An easy, actionable way to let President Trump know you're paying attention.
Put on your active citizen hat because the Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking public comments on a proposed rule.
First, a little background.
In October 2016, HUD published a final rule, "Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual's Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs."
It ensures people have equal access to HUD programs and shelters funded by HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) regardless of their gender identity. It's actually an expansion of a 2012 rule that provided equal access to shelters and programs regardless of sexual orientation.
Sounds good so far, right?
A person walking by an East Harlem public housing complex. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
The rule is great but only if people — especially those seeking emergency shelter or resources — know it exists.
As part of the rule, HUD is proposing owners and operators of CPD-funded buildings, housing units, and shelters post this rule in public places in their facilities (like bulletin boards and in the lobby) where people can see it. HUD would provide the content of the notice and the owners would just have to print it out and post it. HUD estimates the task will take six minutes.
Just print and post. That's what HUD is suggesting. Photo by Newburyport Public Library/Flickr.
Here's where all of us come in. HUD is seeking public comment on four things:
1. Whether the printout is necessary and useful.
2. Whether the six-minute estimate is accurate.
3. How to improve the quality, usefulness, or clarity of the document.
4. How to minimize the burden on people required to print out the document.
If you believe it's a good idea for HUD shelters and housing units to post this information, you can submit your comments electronically or by mail until Feb. 23, 2017.
Think giving feedback on something like this is trivial and unnecessary? Ask the genderqueer teen living on the streets who needs a place to crash and doesn't know if they're welcome at a local emergency shelter. Ask the transgender woman who was worried she'd be denied access to a home-buying program.
It may seem small, but to the individuals and families looking for resources and reassurance, it's significant.
Homeless grandmother Valencia Terrell arrives with her grandchild to stay temporarily at a friend's home in Atlantic City in 2015. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.
More comments and feedback on the issues and proposed policies let the administration know we are paying attention.
This is only the first week of the new administration, and President Trump and his team have set several potentially devastating plans into motion. There's the unsanctioned gag order at the USDA, the devastating executive action prohibiting U.S. aid groups from funding NGOs that advise on or provide abortions, revival of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, not the mention the promise to begin moving on his border wall.
President Donald Trump signs one of five executive orders related to the oil pipeline industry. Photo by Shawn Thew-Pool/Getty Images.
You may not have the time or emotional energy to respond to every issue or proposal and that's OK.
With so much going on, it's easy to get discouraged and zone out. We have to persist. When we stop speaking up, reading, or getting involved, the administration's decisions go ignored and unchecked. There's just too much at stake to risk that.
Pick your issue: write a comment, make a call, attend a town hall, send a letter. Let Congress and Trump know you won't be silenced, bullied, or ignored. They work for us, and it's time they get a reminder.
People listen at a town hall meeting on Latin American and immigration policy in Los Angeles. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.
Get ready. Your active citizen hat is going to be on for a while.