Tiny homes being built for 25 low income Detroit families

Posted at 5:04 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 17:04:13-04

You will soon seen see tiny houses popping up on vacant lots in Detroit.

A local group says building small homes will have a big impact for low-income residents.

Cass Community Social Services are hammering away that idea, building 25 houses for low-income Detroiters.

"Some formerly homeless, some seniors citizens, some students, especially those who have aged out of foster care," said Reverend Faith Fowler, the Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services.

The homes will be built on two vacant blocks on Woodrow and Elmhurst.

The mini-houses will each be 250 to 400 square feet.

The monthly rent will cost a $1 per square foot, making it easier for tenants who make less than $9,000 a year.

This also "opens the door" to homeownership.

That's because after seven years, the tenants will get the deed in their name.

"We picked good looking houses. We want them to be proud of them," says Reverend Fowler.

The homes are studios or one-bedrooms, meant for single folks or couples.

"Each house will be different, distinctive. Each house will have its own lot. So 30 x 100 foot lot," says Reverend Fowler.
And the homes will be "green".

Reverend Fowler said, "Nine inches of insulation, the windows have the "R" rating, the appliances are Energy Star."

The organization raised more than $700,000 and bought the lots from the city.

Besides homeownership, the program accomplishes two others goals:

"Repopulating this neighborhood. Bringing people in, taxpayers in, people who will care for their lawns and join the community," Reverend Fowler explained.  "And thirdly, it's good for the environment, that the small houses will use less utilities."

The project is expected to be completed next summer.

"Giving them a nice clean, decent place to live and to ultimately own," she added.