The first phase of Cass Community Social Services's Tiny Homes project in Detroit has been such a success, crews are now breaking ground again to build more.
The homes are tiny but they're making a big difference in people's lives. Though they are, the homes aren't mean to be trendy. They are meant to provide safe, clean affordable housing for low-income Detroiters.
"We have seven [homes] up and occupied and we're adding five more. We're starting five more today," Rev. Faith Fowler of Cass Community Social Services told us on Monday.
She runs the Detroit agency, and has been the force behind this Tiny Homes project that's garnered international attention.
"People can make as little as 8, 9, $10,000 a year and become a homeowner and, of course, many of them are formerly homeless people," she explains.
Residents rent for seven years and pay a dollar a square foot each month while volunteering and attending various classes. If they complete the program, they own the home.
"People who have been very poor will have an option of moving up economically, having mobility," Rev. Fowler says.
Right now, residents include seniors; a young man who aged out of foster care and is now in college; a man on disability who lost his home; and another man released from prison with no family to go home to.
On Monday, with the help of the GM Foundation and other sponsors Cass broke ground on five new homes, bringing the total now to 12. Eventually there will be 25 tiny homes on Detroit's west side.
The homes being built are between 250 and 400 square feet, just like the seven that already stand."