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Cass Group Will Build 25 Tiny Homes for Low-Income Detroiters

August 02, 2016, 3:09 PM by  Annabel Ames

A computer generated photo of the planned neighborhood.

A local organization hopes that building tiny houses will have a big impact for low-income Detroiters. 

A program started by Cass Community Social Services, is erecting 25 mini-houses, 250 to 400 square feet each, says the Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director. They'll be rented to tenants who make as little as $9,000 a year or $750 a month. 

A computer-generated image of one of the tiny homes that will be built.

After seven years, residents "earn" ownership. 

Renters will include formerly homeless people, college students and the elderly. They'll pay $1 per square foot, or $250 to $400 monthly for everything except electricity. 

"Our goal is to help poor people have an asset because if you don't have an asset, you can't weather the storm," Fowler says. "This will give them a ladder out of poverty."

The houses will be built on two vacant blocks on Woodrow and Elmhurst, just north of the Cass Community campus, and are expected to be completed by next summer. The group has raised over $700,000 from individuals, churches and corporate sponsorships for the project, Fowler said.

Fowler said the initiative hopes to achieve three goals: Allow low-income residents to be homeowners; upgrade an area saturated with abandoned homes and vacant lots; and create energy-efficient living spaces that will reduce our carbon footprint.

The tiny houses will be built on two blocks north of the Cass Community campus. 


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