I recently saw a video online about a project in Detroit that is helping low income earners own a home. Afterwards, it got me thinking if a program like that would be successful here.I'll give you some background first and then you can come to your own conclusion. But I feel something like this would be extremely beneficial to Rockford.

It's called Tiny Homes Detroit and it is led by Cass Community Social Services. The program started a little over a year ago and was the first of it's kind. It has since expanded to more homes and a tiny homes project has sprouted up in Austin, TX. but that one differs from the Detroit program in some ways.

These tiny homes vary in size and style. The homes are anywhere from 250-400 square feet. Some of them are available in studio, loft, and separate bedroom style homes. Tour some of the homes here.  The Detroit program is designed to help the formally homeless. Along with low-income seniors and students recently our of foster care. To qualify for these rent-to-own homes you must have a steady income. Rent is $1 per square foot of the home and after seven years the resident can become an owner.

The nonprofit Cass Community purchased 25 vacant lots from the city for $15,000.  To keep the cost of everything so low they relie solely on volunteers to build the homes.

Over the last year or so, I've seen several empty lots popping up around our city, what a great way to fill them! Plus just the purchasing of the lots could generate revenue. We also have several different organizations, nonprofit and otherwise, that could really do some good work with something like this.  Of course a program like this should be tweaked to better serve the Rockford community. But I feel Rockford could benefit greatly for something like this! Anyone else?

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