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Tiny Home Communities Gaining Popularity in Detroit

In Detroit, a unique neighborhood is changing lives. Detroit’s Tiny Homes project has been lead by Cass Community Social Services and features a neighborhood of 250 to 400 square-foot homes off Elmhurst Street and the John C. Lodge Freeway.

This project began with the purpose of helping low-income residents work their way into home ownership. The tiny homes are being rented out for just $1 per square foot. Prospective residents who are able to show proof of employment have the opportunity to make rent-to-own arrangements as well.

The executive director of Cass Community Social Services, Rev. Faith Fowler, said rent payments cover everything except electric bills, which can reach $35 during the coldest months of winter.

“They’re not paying for the house, they’re paying for the program and we use their money to pay their taxes, their water, their insurance and security monitoring,” Fowler said, “…It’s been a really, sort of thrilling thing to happen as our country has been struggling with so many things right now that can be depressing.”

Each tiny house costs between $45,000 and $55,000 to build, with the foundation alone costing about $20,000. A new batch of four houses has just begun being built and are expected to be completed by early 2018. Much of the labor costs were waived as donations and Cass Community Social Services continues to cover material costs.

The rising popularity of tiny homes worldwide has lead to some really unique innovations. In one case, a tiny home designer, Ana White, came up with a one-of-a-kind solution to achieve maximum open space in the center of the 204 square-foot home.

To do this, White installed an elevation system to raise and lower the loft bed. With home elevator maintenance being suggested every 12 months, this was a cost-effective and smart solution to removing the bed, giving the house a more open floor plan.

Tiny homes can offer big benefits in a tiny space. With smart design options, tiny homes can offer a variety of storage solutions, while being decorative and often environmentally friendly.

More and more communities around the world are adopting tiny homes as a way to provide inexpensive homes for low-income families while giving them a home to be proud to own.

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