By Alisha Dixon
Last week, Cass Community Social Services hosted the Tiny Homes Progressive Tour of the new tiny home community located on Elmhurst between Woodrow Wilson and the Lodge Service Drive.
Rev. Faith Fowler, Executive Director Cass Community Social Services and creator of the tiny homes project, believes the tour is an opportunity for the public to not only view the homes but to also see how committed Cass is to helping the community. The tiny home community’s distance to the Cass Community Social Services campus will allow residents to have access to the organizations educational and recreational services.
“The Cass tiny homes development is so much more than house,” Fowler said. “It is a novel anti-poverty program that will transform the residents and this neighborhood while it helps to protect the planet.”
The three-day tour allowed the public to walk through the six completed tiny homes while enjoying six courses of tiny treats from Matt Prentice and the Cass Community Social Services Catering team. Tour guests were also the first to receive a copy of the not yet released “Tiny Homes in a Big City,” by Rev. Fowler, a coffee table book that explores the American Dream and how small houses and tiny homes historically have been used to help the poor. In the book, Fowler explains the history of Cass’ unique ownership model and tips for anyone considering tiny home living.
The new community, still in the construction phase, will be home to 25 tiny homes that will provide permanent affordable housing for low-to-moderate income individuals and couples.
The tiny homes, ranging from 250-400 square feet, sit on 30’ x 100’ lot and each have full size energy efficient appliances to include washer-dryers, microwaves, ovens, stoves and refrigerators. Each home comes fully furnished and decorated with unique architectural design and décor.
“Every home is different. There are cottages, a colonial, a Victorian, a Tutor and an environmental house. Each has a distinctive feature so the residents will have a sense of pride in their home,” said Rev. Fowler.
The $1.5-million project, Rev. Fowler said, gives low-to-moderate income Detroiters a way to be a part of the city’s revitalization by becoming homeowners.
“This is a program about aspirations,” Rev. Fowler said. “This isn’t just a housing program. This program is ready for people who are ready” to become homeowners.
The program guarantees full ownership after leasing a home for seven years. The estimated cost for each home is between $40,000 and $60,000. Rental rates will equate to a dollar per square feet. To qualify to purchase a tiny home, applicants must show that according to federal guidelines they qualify as low-income. As part of the application process, criminal history, work history and rental history will be considered. Qualifying residents, Cass said, will be formerly homeless men and women, senior citizens, college students and Cass staff members.
Residents are expected to begin moving into the tiny homes in June.
For more information about the Cass Community Social Services tiny home community, go to http://www.casscommunity.org or call (313) 883-2277, ext 201.