Photo credit to articles.latimes.com
Detroit-based non-profit Write A House has thought up an ingenious way to clean up Detroit neighborhoods: give away houses to writers. The concept is rather like many writer residency programs, except the writers will receive houses free-of-charge, and only need to pay land taxes.
Founder Sarah Cox said to the Huffington Post, "In the past three years, I've seen incredible progress, but there is still so much room for more in the literary arts, This is a city with unique, historic and fascinating stuff happening. We think there are writers who will want to come and be a part of it."
The organization has already purchased three homes in Detroit, and recently held an Indiegogo funding campaign to cover the reconstruction of the first home. From December 17, 2013 to February 15, 2014, the page raised $5,488 more than the initial $25,000 goal. Perks included pencils, bookmarks, and book bags.
The Indiegogo page said, "...we believe writers should have nice homes. Write A House invests money in vocational training to renovate vacant homes - providing lifelong skills to the students - and then awards the homes to emerging writers - providing lifelong homes for the writers. It's pretty much that simple."
It's hard to argue with a program that will put the abandon houses of Detroit to good use, especially if it involves bringing more culture into the city.
Write A House has partnered with Young Detroit Builders to restore the homes to their former glory. Young Detroit Builders is another non-profit that trains local youth into vocational skills through renovating and remodeling buildings.
"Any and all writers who are looking for a new home and new inspiration are encouraged to apply," says the description of the funding campaign. "Applications will begin in the spring (once we know if this idea is going to actually work.) The writers who are granted the homes will receive the deed to the house after two years of residency. For more information on how to apply for the home, go to writeahouse.org."
It will be interesting to see which writers end up with the deeds to the homes.