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Tiny Home Community

Rent-to-own stick-built tiny homes

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SUBMITTED / CASS COMMUNITY
  • submitted / Cass Community

Tiny homes have fascinated many people as a possible solution to the housing affordability crisis. Detroit, Mich., has recently started a rent-own tiny home community that even minimum wage earners can afford. A book and videos on the program provide ideas to other states to adapt it to their situation.

In a nutshell, Cass Community Social Services is building 25 tiny homes in Detroit. The home sizes vary from 250-400 square feet and are built on foundations on lots that are about 30 by 100 feet. They are attractively built with high ceilings and front porches or back decks to help further increase the living area. Various community organizations are sponsoring the houses and providing material and volunteer labor under the supervision of a general contractor. The homes are rented out at $1 per square foot. After seven years, renters are given the opportunity to own the home, at which time it's expected they'll have increased in value and provide minimum wage earners an opportunity to have affordable housing and build wealth. A 250-square-foot home would cost $250 per month and double that size will still only be $500.

I can't help but think how welcome something like this would be in our area—even though land costs would make the price higher. With people cohabitating in rental homes and often paying over $500 to just rent a bedroom, it seems it might be feasible to do something like this in our area. Even if it cost three times as much, it would be cheaper than current rents and a person could have their own space.


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