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This small and tiny houses will transform homeless into homeowners

Homeless people could finally have affordable houses thanks to this visionary project in Detroit



This small and tiny houses will transform homeless into homeowners

Tiny houses make us think to Japan, to efficiency, to minimalism, in big cities they have the meaning of “sustainable living” but can also be the solution to the growing of homeless people.

In Detroit it is under construction a brand new community of tiny houses that will make houses available for homeless people as well for the ones with low salaries.

By November six houses will be available, with the final objective to have 25 houses by the end of the next year. The dimensions will be from 250 to 400 square feet and each house will have his own design, with all needed in it, so kitchen, washing machine etc.

For the Rev. Faith Fowler, executive director of CCSS – a no profit organisation helping people in need, in seven years you could own a house, even if now you don’t even own a bicycle.

Houses will be offered to homeless as well to people with low incomes such as students or seniors, and to get a 300 square foot apartment the amount to pay will be of around $300, in addition to the electricity – that will be not more than $35 – considered the small dimension of the houses, even in winter season.

The opportunity for the tenants will be that after three years of renting they can start paying to own the homes.

This has also the scope of making the tenants punctual and respectful of payments. All of that will be part of a wider program, offering to the tenants a very wide number of services, from the gym, to the library, to shoppings, in a CCSS campus close to the houses.

This is the first time an initiative like that takes place in Detroit, but it’s not the first in the world, other “visionary” cities have started with these initiatives, with a great success, such as the Community first in Austin, or the Dignity village in Portland, both successful stories, the first with 250 renters, and the second with 40 homes.

In Detroit this project will, as side effect, get more people in the neighbourhood, rehabbing thousand of abandoned houses.

Jim Vella, president of the Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, the automaker’s philanthropic organization, has donated $400,000 to the project, as well as construction work from their volunteers corps.

But this is only the first step, if the first homes will be a success, CCSS will start a second project with slightly bigger homes for families. Ultimately the neighbourhood, in few years, could change his face, moving from uninhabited to a vibrant community. When Fowler pictures the neighborhood in a decade, she sees a vibrant community.

“I imagine this part of the city full of people, having coffee, playing ball, walking or simply reading the newspaper, enjoying this renewed part of the city”

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