Building Hope and Community: Micah 6 Community's Tiny Home Project in Pontiac
Updated: Jul 28
In the heart of Pontiac, a transformative initiative is taking shape as Micah 6 Community, a nonprofit community development corporation, embarks on an exciting journey to create a tiny home community. At the early planning phase, this visionary project aims to address housing challenges, foster a sense of belonging, and empower individuals to build a brighter future.
The foundation of this innovative project is the former Emerson Elementary School, nestled in the northeast of Pontiac. Micah 6 Community acquired this site at no cost as part of its purchase of Webster Elementary School from Pontiac Investment Corp. With great purpose, they plan to demolish the former school building at 859 Emerson Ave. near Baltimore Avenue by the end of the year, making way for the development of a nurturing tiny home community.
Once completed, the property will be home to 58 charming tiny houses, each designed to provide affordable and sustainable housing solutions for the community. Although the plans are still being finalized, Executive Director Coleman Yoakum estimates the total project cost to be around $14 million.
Micah 6 Community intends to offer these tiny homes to individuals within the neighborhood who are currently paying $950 each month in rent. By purchasing these homes, the residents will not only gain a place to call their own, but they will also be investing in their future and building a pathway towards financial stability.
To bring this vision to life, Micah 6 Community has sought guidance from Rev. Faith Fowler, the senior pastor of Cass Community United Methodist Church and executive director of Cass Community Social Services. Rev. Fowler's organization has successfully built 25 tiny homes in Detroit since 2016, with plans for seven more underway. Through philanthropic support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and religious organizations, Cass Community has been able to fund the construction of these homes. The residents of these tiny homes pay rent that covers essential services like water, trash collection, lawn services, snow removal, insurance, and other costs over a designated period. By September 2024, the first group of residents will own their homes, with an estimated value of $70,000-$100,000 on Zillow.com.
Micah 6 Community plans to adopt a more traditional financing approach, offering homes at rates comparable to current rental prices while providing subsidies to ensure affordability. The organization is actively engaging with various banks to explore creative mortgage opportunities. These tailored financing options aim to assist "first investment" home buyers who are recent college graduates entering the workforce, as well as "last investment" buyers relying on Social Security or a pension. By providing accessible pathways to homeownership, the project aspires to empower residents to accumulate wealth and achieve stability.
The ultimate goal of Micah 6 Community's tiny home project is to offer individuals a chance to enter the housing market and create a solid foundation for their future. By fostering a strong sense of community, promoting sustainable living, and empowering residents to take ownership of their homes, this visionary project is set to be a beacon of hope and progress in Pontiac.
As Micah 6 Community continues to move forward with this transformative undertaking, the support and involvement of the local community will play a crucial role. Together, we can build a thriving community where dreams are realized, and the path to a better tomorrow is paved with compassion and opportunity. Let's unite and be a part of this remarkable journey towards building a brighter future for all!