The future of housing, just like the automotive sector and many other American industries, is now under close scrutiny by the federal government.
Imagine what would happen if the following changes would be announced which would regulate lot and home sizes, safety features, building materials and other dramatic modifications to the housing we are accustomed to.
The EPA will propose that no home be built over 1,200 square feet with an 8-foot maximum ceiling height to conserve energy. In addition, all homes will be retrofitted with thermostats that regulate heating to a maximum of 68 degrees in the winter and cooling to 79 degrees in the summer.
Water usage will be metered and regulated to no more than 75 gallons per occupant per day. Lot size will be regulated in urban areas to a maximum of 7,000 square feet so that higher density may be built close in to the urban center to allow less commuting distance to work pods.
A shade tree must be planted on the west and south side of the dwelling.
Windows must be low e and argon filled. In addition, the maximum square foot area for windows is not to exceed 150 square feet. Garages may be a maximum of 1 1/2 bays as one car will be sufficient for families and the extra space will accommodate storage.
New homes must have a minimum 25 percent contribution to their energy usage by passive energy power such as solar or wind.
New homes will pay an 18 percent value added tax to the federal government (in addition to state sales tax) to cover the cost of rehabilitating older homes with energy efficient features under a new reclamation government program. In terms of financing, 1/2 percent will be added to the mortgage rate to provide ongoing capitalization for the retrofitting of commercial structures.
The exterior of the new houses must be a reflective white to stave off summer heat absorption.
Homeland security is suggesting that an additional 100 square feet be added to each home to build a “safe” room. Families may go there in the event of a swine flu pandemic. The room will feature filtered air. This recommendation is still under advisement and probably has little chance of passing to the final bill. If you have read thus far, it is hoped you realize this is satire and will hopefully remain satire in the future. If you haven’t read this far, it is Orson Welles “War of the Worlds” all over again.