In Detroit Ford is helping build 25 homes on a sustainable scale in a bid to revitalise communities
Affordable housing is an issue that is at crisis levels in the US. According to a new report by the nonprofit Urban Institute, the market alone only provides 21 units of suitable housing per 100 extremely low-income households. With government support, the number only rises to 46, enough to meet less than half the demand.
And it is not just people on very low incomes who are affected. According to a study by the MacArthur Foundation, 81% of Americans believe housing affordability is a problem.
One movement that is gaining traction in US cities is the “tiny house” movement, to build affordable homes on a far smaller footprint than the typical American home of 2,600 sq feet.
In Detroit car maker Ford is contributing $400,000 and the services of its employee volunteer corp towards a $1.5m pilot project, by nonprofit Cass Community Social Services, to build 25 tiny homes, ranging from 250 to 400 square feet, as affordable housing for people, including young college graduates and the formerly homeless.
Jim Vella, head of Ford Motor Company Fund, said the project was aimed at revitalising a neighbourhood that is so rundown “you wouldn’t get out of your car after dark."
All of the homes will...