Couple hammering out hate by making Michigan construction community more inclusive toward LGBTQ+ community

Misconceptions often cultivate stereotypes, yet nevertheless, they persist. What do you think of when you hear "construction worker?" It's an industry where being gay can make you a target. So one couple decided to start their own construction company with an inclusive work culture. Their passion for flipping abandoned homes in Detroit creates real change on TV and in the city.

DETROIT – A couple in Metro Detroit is hammering out hate and breaking barriers in the construction industry.

Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas turned their passion for home design into a thriving construction company. Their company, Nine Design and Homes, is a company where every person on staff is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. The mission of the construction company is to level the playing field and make a profit in a more inclusiveness way.

Bynum states that just because he is gay doesn’t mean he can’t swing a hammer. “I was not out, and it was very clear that being gay in the construction industry, I heard every slur you can imagine,” said Bynum explaining his experience working in the industry.

The couple has been flipping abandoned homes in Detroit and focusing on neighborhoods where first-time homeowners can buy. So far, the couple has flipped more than 40 homes.

“It’s amazing what drives you when somebody tells you you can’t do something,” said Bynum.

Bynum and Thomas’ passion is being recognized, and their work will be displayed on the hit show “Bargain Block” that premieres on HGTV.

The couple plans on listing a house they are flipping on Detroit’s northwest side. The home located by Livernois Road and Puritan Avenue will be listed for $25,000 and will be sold to a Detroiter who is a first-time homebuyer.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.