In Detroit, Cass Community Social Service is building a neighborhood of tiny houses that will open the doors to home ownership for low income families, senior citizens, students, artists, eco stewards, etc. Incredibly, as reported by the Windsor Star, these tiny houses are being constructed for people who earn between $7,000 and $15,000 a year! And thanks to solar panels, electric bills average about $9 a month. The lots are purchased from the City for super cheap, Cass raises the funds for each unique house (average is around $50,000 to build), and each is designed so that the occupant owns the house after 7 years of inhabiting the small structure (with equity). There are also volunteer efforts by members of the community that contribute to the success of the project.
The best part is that these tiny houses are not dumpy looking structures, they are actually super cute in design. They’re perfect for people who want to travel, or young families, or those with limited income. They are also the answer for people who don’t want to deal with restoring old houses, which can be quite troublesome. These smaller homes equate to lifestyle choices for many – not only do people get to invest in their futures, they also get to enjoy amenities that are typically considered out of reach for many, such as solar power. These houses might be on the small side, but they pack a pretty big punch.
The idea of the tiny house is nothing new – the idea has been around for long time. Unfortunately, the dream of the small house has not come to fruition for a numerous reasons, from builders not being able to make a substantial profit, to expensive land values, to eco-amenities being financially out of reach. Times are changing however, and we’re seeing cities like Detroit, and organizations like Cass, drawing up operational roadmaps that should be easier to follow.
Buffalo’s East Side is the perfect place to build small houses, especially multiple structures in close proximity to one another (check out the video above). We are currently seeing apartments being built all over the East Side, but not much when it comes to home ownership. It’s got to start somewhere… maybe this is the place to start?