Detroit is known for its many burned out and abandoned homes. But thanks to a local charity, it may soon be known as a city of Tiny Homes.

Tiny Homes Detroit is a way for low-income individuals to become homeowners. Other tiny home communities have developed in the country, notably in Austin, but Detroit’s differs in a few ways. This is the only rent-to-own model in the country. Austin’s is located on the outskirts of the city, while Detroit’s is well within the city. Austin also uses a variety of trailers, tents, and tiny homes, while Detroit is building tiny stand-alone structures.


Reverend Faith Fowler, the director of Cass Community Social Services says that this model gives residents an asset, which will help them borrow money in the future.

The houses vary between 250-400 square feet and each is architecturally different. Some are studios, while others have a loft, and some have a separate bedroom. Herman Miller and Interior Lifestyles donated furnishings and time. Many Ford employees have volunteered their time, adding finishing touches to the homes.

Those who have toured the homes say they feel more spacious than they looked from the outside. They were also insulated to help cut down on the noise from the busy, nearby Lodge freeway.

Reverend Fowler says that six residents will move in after they receive a certificate of occupancy from the city. Three more will begin building in June.

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