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6 tiny homes open in Detroit for weekend fundraiser

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Six tiny homes in Detroit, part of what could one day be the largest tiny home development in the city and possibly Michigan, will open their doors for a fundraiser Thursday through Saturday that will include tiny bites from renowned chef Matt Prentice.

For $75 a ticket or $100 for two people, guests will get a chance to tour the six homes built by Cass Community Social Services, just west of the Lodge Freeway at Elmhurst. At each house, guests will receive a “tiny treat” by Prentice and the Cass catering team.

The tour, called the Cass Community Social Services Tiny Homes Progressive Tour, marks the first time the public will get a chance to look inside these unique homes,which range in size from 250 to 400 square feet and have all the basic necessities, including appliances, a bed, sofa and dining table. A model unit was finished last September.

The $1.5 million project is the brainchild of the Rev. Faith Fowler, Cass’s executive director, who came up with the idea after her mother died and left her a home in northern Michigan. She realized how rarely low-income residents have an asset such as a home.

The tiny homes will all be rent-to-own over a seven-year period for qualifying residents who are low-income. Rent will be based on the home’s square footage. A 300-square foot home will be $300 a month.

“Every home is different. There are cottages, a Colonial, a Victorian, a Tutor and an environmental house – each has a distinctive feature so the residents will have a sense of pride in their home,” said Fowler in a news release.

Tours will run every 10 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reservations are required. Go to www.CassCommunity.org.

Guests also will be given a soon-to-be published book by Fowler that examines the historical use of small houses in the U.S. and the use of tiny homes for poor and homeless people.

mfeighan@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mfeighan