Tiny Home Construction Improves Lives of City Residents

The five homes currently under construction will join others in Cass Tiny Homes, a development on the city’s west side, to provide housing for low-income residents, The Detroit News reported.

📅   Mon November 13, 2017 - National Edition
Emily Buenzle


Once finished, these five houses will join six others, which were completed over the summer. The homes are rent-to-own over seven years, with rent totaling $1 per sq. ft.
Once finished, these five houses will join six others, which were completed over the summer. The homes are rent-to-own over seven years, with rent totaling $1 per sq. ft.

Construction has begun on a development made up of tiny homes in Detroit. The five homes currently under construction will join others in Cass Tiny Homes, a development on the city's west side, to provide housing for low-income residents, The Detroit News reported. Eventually, the space will hold 25 houses—all less than 500 sq. ft.—over two and a half blocks.

According to Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of Cass Community Social Services, the organization that is leading the project, this group of homes should be complete in about five months, depending on the weather, number of volunteers and other elements, The Detroit News reported.

Funds for the project are coming from the GM Foundation and local churches. The GM Foundation has donated $135,000 to pay for two new houses, part of a joint initiative with Cass called Women in Motion, meant to help women improve economically. A team of all-female volunteers from GM will help build the houses.

Fowler said each home costs around $50,000 to build, although most of the materials and resources are donated. By contrast, Fowler said that a renovation project in a regular home in the city would cost much more. For example, Cass recently renovated a 41-unit apartment complex to the tune of more than $10 million, the Detroit News reported.

The construction on each tiny house is unique—one of the new designs will resemble a lighthouse.

“I believe that far too often poor people, or low-income people, are forced to live in ugly spaces,” said Fowler. “They're bland and identical and unattractive and they don't inspire folks to be proud of where they live. So we wanted each house to be different inside and outside.”

Once finished, these five houses will join six others, which were completed over the summer. The homes are rent-to-own over seven years, with rent totaling $1 per sq. ft.