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Tiny Houses in Detroit

Tiny houses in Detroit? Yes.

This is the story of a tiny house community that’s sprouting up in Detroit, Michigan.

According to Curbed, the houses with range from 250-400 square feet and will cost around $48,000 each.

So far, Ford has contributed $400,000 for the project. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Tiny Houses in Detroit


© Michelle & Chris Gerard via Curbed/Detroit








© Michelle & Chris Gerard via Curbed/Detroit

Video: Cass Community Tiny Houses

Read the full/original story at Curbed.


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Joanna Chanin September 15, 2016, 3:25 pm


  • Avatar alice h September 15, 2016, 4:25 pm

    Great idea. Amazing what you can do when land is not overpriced.

  • Avatar Cyndi ann September 15, 2016, 4:47 pm

    Really a contribution to people needing help with living in a home instead of the high cost of purchasing space that most of us can do without. It is really an awful situation in some towns that will not cooperate with those that want Tiny House living. All they care about is how much money they won’t make on higher taxes and that it may start a really big invasion of people who need the lower cost and want to make a smaller footprint. Myself, I would hook up to city/town sewage at their cost. I like my town and am a senior needing a home with no stairs as this apt has. Just my opinion. Thank you all out there, you’re doing something special and meaningful.

  • Avatar Barnie September 15, 2016, 6:05 pm

    What an amazing project, so refreshing to see. I’m not exactly optimistic about the idea catching on though, at least not here in Ontario (Canada) for a number of complicated reasons. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong in the near future, fingers crossed.
    The house designs look nice, but I’m wondering why there’s been no space allotted for parking of any kind… seems an obvious if not somewhat irresponsible oversight imo.

  • Avatar susan meier September 15, 2016, 8:50 pm

    I hope this becomes the norm. Such nice cute house. So easy to clean and maintain. Love it!

  • Avatar oxide September 16, 2016, 11:08 am

    If you like this house, the blueprints are for sale at “eplans dot com.” This house comes in 1/2/3-bed versions. Search for English cottage under 1000 sq ft. The Detroit house is the 1-bed version. However, I would definitely change the layout inside, and I’d also add a loft option for more storage.

    As to community, I am a pessimist at heart, and I can’t be optimistic here. Yes, it’s a lovely vision. But, well, low-income residents tend to bring some unpleasantness. (And don’t forget the jealous apartment dwellers several blocks away). That sweet little fairyland map would be trashed in a matter of months, if not weeks. That said, this would be a perfect option for a gated 55+ golf-cart community in the south, where they don’t need snowplows or schools.

    • Avatar Sparrow September 16, 2016, 2:02 pm

      I’ve looked at that English cottage design many times…in fact, I’ve saved it as a Favorite.

      Okay, I’m going to vent a bit. The people who are eligible for these nice little houses make me a little angry. Not at them, but at a society that will make an effort to help drug addicts, the mentally ill, and irresponsible women who have babies they can’t afford to raise, and with no father that contributes to their welfare. They get a chance at something like this, while someone like me, who’s healthy, single, childless, not a burden on anyone, but who doesn’t make a lot of money, has to struggle to pay high rent for sub-par apartments. It does seem like people who make fewer mistakes and play by the rules don’t get perks. Aren’t we less likely to trouble our neighbors? Aren’t we less likely to have run-ins with the law? Aren’t we more likely to prosper, if we got opportunities like this?

      • Avatar Louisa September 16, 2016, 2:13 pm

        Sparrow, I am sure you are eligible to apply for the tiny houses. To you and Oxide, and Rev, I don’t understand the reason to crank on a good thing that is happening for people who need it. We have lots of vacant space here in Detroit and lots of great people needing housing, for whatever reasons. Businesses are booming, the areas are coming back to life. People are taking their communities back. Come check out the progress and the great people who are all making it happen. No matter which side of the progress you are on, you get a better feeling by being part of it. You are all welcome.

        • Avatar Sparrow September 17, 2016, 2:40 pm

          I’m glad to hear that Detroit is improving, Louisa, but I’d still be leery of living there just now. I do appreciate the efforts being made to make things better, though. One of my favorite HGTV shows is Rehab Addict, which features Nicole Curtis, who tries to save and rehab beautiful old buildings in Detroit. I applaud her work. Maybe if your tiny house community does work out, it’ll spread elsewhere in the U.S. I wish you the best.

      • Avatar J C Cox September 17, 2016, 5:13 am

        Sparrow, it is people like you that make American such a unsupportive place. How do you know what the people who might live here would be like? You state that you must pay a high price for sub-par living space. Do you not realise that they are doing the same thing and are probably paying an even higher price than you. The comments that follow make it clear where you and they are coming from. I will say no more because it would make me sound like you, confused, anger, and petty. You and people like you are the reason America has never been great. Powerful but never great.

        • Avatar oxide September 17, 2016, 9:19 am

          “How do you know what the people who might live here would be like”… Of course we don’t *know* for sure what this neighborhood will be like. But we do know what low-income/poor neighborhoods (of all races) have looked like throughout history. Here’s hoping that the low cost of the housing will make the residents less poor and that sweet neighborhood survives. That said, this kind of community *can* work. Look up “pocket neighborhoods” for examples in Washington state.

        • Avatar Sparrow September 17, 2016, 2:35 pm

          Oh, so you think a person like me, who pays her taxes, pays her bills, is not on any kind of government program, has never had a run-in with the law, is not a burden on my neighbors, is not a drug addict, indiscriminate breeder, or on the dole, is the PROBLEM? Wow, you’ve got a weird definition of what greatness is. My taxes help support people who are either unlucky or just plain bums, buster. You’re probably one of those losers who thinks America should be a welfare country. You should take a hard look at what has happened to Italy thanks to its “entitlement” programs, and what a “great” country it’s become as a result. Stick it, JC Cox.

      • Avatar Rue October 5, 2016, 1:59 pm

        Agree with you about society catering to those who make bad choices, such as the drug addicts and welfare moms.

        But neither mental illness or physical disabilities are a choice. What kind of society would we be if we didn’t reach out to help those who suffer misfortune through no fault of their own? Someday you might need help too; good health can’t be taken for granted.

        There’s a difference between expecting to be saved from one’s own folly and genuinely needing help. Just saying.

  • Avatar Rev September 16, 2016, 12:28 pm

    Detroit. Michigan. They are kidding, right?

    How tall are the walls? How deep are the moats?

    Machinegun turrets. Mined approaches. Clear fields of fire out to 1000 yards.

    Detroit. Not in this lifetime. OK, maybe a few decades after the collapse and die-off, maybe then.

    Nah. Probably not.

  • Avatar Sparrow September 16, 2016, 12:38 pm

    Now these are the kind of small affordable houses I’ve been talking about. And so charming! (Don’t know if I’d want a bedroom so close to the kitchen, though, certainly not without at least a pocket door).

  • Avatar John September 17, 2016, 9:45 am

    Only real problem is the price.

    In Detroit, buy a house for $10k that’s falling apart, tear it out and rebuild (must be over 383 sq ft) and get up to $20k to do it (you must put up at least $5k). So, for $15k you get a $25k house and no property tax for 3 years (requirements to qualify: you must live in the house for the three years, you must make under $17,250 (single), $21,300 (married couple), children under 12 can raise the earning limit). You also qualify for the home building/improvement project supported by Home Depot and Lowe’s (but not Menard’s) getting you discounted materials for building a permanent home in Detroit (must be the homeowner, must be either new or extensive rebuild, must also qualify for gov’t aid to be a part of this project).

    It isn’t turnkey like the above houses, you have to work a bit for it, but you can end up with a nice tiny house, better insulation, a yard (nice perk if you have children or want a garden), and your own preferred design – for about $20k less in the end. You can sell the extra yard plot if you don’t want that.

  • Avatar Andrea September 19, 2016, 2:56 am

    As a born & raised Detroiter (recently moved to AZ) I am happy to see the changes in my hometown. That being said I hope the undesirables that hang around area that they are putting these homes in aka Cass Corridor don’t destroy them.

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