Free Homes for Writers

Write a HouseAre you borderline homeless? Do you want to focus on writing rather than paying a hefty mortgage, or are you blurring that line between starving artist and broke joke? Ready to sign up and make the move from wishful writer without a home to someone who has roots? Say you are one of many freelance travel writers who long to have a stable base. You may want to be a part of a social movement that looks to fix broken economies and restore hope in the standard American dream of home ownership. Whatever your method, pack up your typewriter and make the move to Michigan.

Down with Detroit

Detroit, Michigan, the notorious city known for filing America’s largest bankruptcy of a municipal to date and dropping $18.5 billion in debt, is attempting to rise from the ashes. One of the latest moves to rejuvenate the population of Detroit is the crowd funded Indiegogo project Write a House: Renovation of The Peach House. Hosted for Young Detroit Builders, a nonprofit organization attempting to revitalize the abandoned communities of this former center for trade, finance and culture. Whereas Detroit is widely known for musical arts, the literary community in this city needs a boost. The goal with Write a House is to supplement the demographic with writers, as a part of the arts movement for Detroit.

Pick a Place to Call “Home”

To go from living in your parents’ basement to owning your own home in a matter of a few years, while living the life of a full time writer, has been the American dream for many writers for years. Unfortunately, the location of the homes in the program leaves much to be desired. We’ve all heard horror stories about Detroit, from the tens of thousands of abandoned dogs to the skeletal houses with broken windows. However, Detroit is slowly building itself back up to a standard of living that will, at this rate, may once again be desirable. As of June 2013 a Whole Foods Market has opened, while Midtown Detroit has seen an increase in occupancy rates of 96 percent as of September 2013.

Signing Up for the Program

Write a House skips the step of financial security needed for home renovation for a house in a rundown neighborhood, in this case The Peach House. In order to become a homeowner in Detroit, you will need to submit interest to the Young Detroit Builders regarding the Write a House program. According to the program posting on Indiegogo, there are three houses purchased for renovation as of January 2014. They are all within walking distance of one another so to foster a literary community. Once moved in to one of these homes, a writer would live in the home for two years while paying a nominal monthly fee. After that time, the home would be signed into the writer’s name and they would be responsible for home owners insurance and property taxes. Not a bad way to get a place to call your own, heh?

Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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