New project in west Detroit could help tackle homelessness, poverty

Cass Community Social Services plans to build tiny homes

DETROIT – A new project on Detroit’s west side has never been attempted before in the city, but could change how homelessness is tackled and other problems like poverty and vacant land.

Cass Community Social Services unveiled plans to build tiny homes, some as small as 250 square feet.

The group wants to build small homes for the homeless, seniors, students and those on welfare. A 300-square-foot home would cost $300 a month plus utilities, and tenants could eventually own the home after seven years.

"This changes the cycle of your family, the future and potential of your children," student volunteer Krystal Hull said.

Ford employees volunteered their time and Ford Motor Co. donated $400,000.

"It always feels good to be a part of something bigger and to know you’re putting your heart into help someone else achieve that next level of social mobility, that next level of economic status," Ford employee Shawn Wilson said.

The nonprofit is more than halfway toward their goal of raising $1.5 million.

Each home is expected to look different and range in size from 250 to 400 square feet. They will be built on lots between Woodrow Wilson Street and the Lodge Freeway, from Elmhurst to Cortland streets.

Construction on the first batch of six homes begins here in a few weeks and plans to build 25 homes by the end of next year. Tenants are expected to move in by the end of October.

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