Big dreams coming in tiny homes in Detroit

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Here in Detroit tiny homes are a real way to make housing achievable and affordable for people who may have never had the chance of owning a home 

Now that tiny homes neighborhood is getting a little bigger. 

"Where else would you have the opportunity to own a home if you've never owned anything in your life," said Stephanie Donaldson.

Donaldson is the tiny homes ambassador for Cass Community Social Services - she's the welcoming committee. And says she's welcoming volunteers from all over the country and the world, who want to build the tiny homes. People like Carla Windover, who drove down with her friend from Traverse City to work.

“There's so many people who can't afford homes and I just feel this is really worthwhile,” she said. “I have a home, why shouldn’t others who can’t afford one.”

 “I think it's awesome” said Jim Snyder. “It takes somebody off the street - gives them a place to live and ownership of a home, and let's face it - we're all trying to do that.”

Reverend Faith Fowler is making it happen on Detroit's west side - seven tiny homes measuring 250 to 400 square feet, are already up and occupied. Six more - are almost ready while a total of 25 are planned.

“We want to get them done - people are wanting to move in - that's for sure,” Fowler said.

Fowler is the mastermind behind this new neighborhood - she runs Cass Community Social Services and says more than 1,000 people have asked for applications to live in these tiny homes.

“What can we do to make affordable housing in Detroit,” says Donaldson. “It’s not about your credit score, your FICA score.”

“A third of the city lives on less than $15,000 a year - so you never get a chance to get ahead,” Fowler said. “And that's what's so exciting about this program.”

FOX 2: “This is that chance.”

“Yes it is,” Fowler said

You can't help but smile thinking about the opportunity this offers people who only make $8,000 to $10,000 a year - being accepted into the tiny homes program means home ownership after seven years.

“It's a seven-year program so they pay rent, they come to home owners’ class - they work with a financial coach, they volunteer eight hours a month every month,” Fowler said.

Residents include people who were formerly homeless, formerly incarcerated, senior citizens, and young people who've aged out of foster care.
The same people who may never have had a chance to own a home - until now.

“We have Mid-town, we have Harper Woods, we have Grosse Pointe, and now we have tiny homes right on Woodrow Wilson and the freeway,” Donaldson said.

“It's a re-birth of Detroit - one neighborhood at a time,” said Snyder.

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