Northside Tiny Houses of Hope plan unveiled
Kalamazoo’s first tiny house community is a step closer to reality. A site plan was unveiled Friday at the Trailblazers Tribute, held at the Northside Community Center.
The project addresses a very specific housing issue with a solution pioneered in other cities: When you provide housing and employment within 30-45 days of an individual re-entering the community after incarceration or drug treatment, the likelihood of a repeat offense drops 72%.
That statistic comes from a feature on the tiny house project last year from Second Wave Southwest Michigan. In that piece, you’ll meet Tiny Houses for Hope creator, Gwendolyn Hooker, who is managing the Kalamazoo project through her organization H.O.P.E. thru Navigation. Tiny Homes Detroit founder, Reverend Faith Fowler, is the project’s consultant.
A capital campaign will kick off in January to raise $350,000 for the project. The site includes a vacant lot and a 2,880-square-foot building that will be demolished before construction begins in the spring.
Rent for the loft-style homes will cost rent is $400 a month, a rate of $1 per square foot. It should be affordable for people making 30 percent of the median income in Kalamazoo County, approximately $14,500, according to figures published by the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority. Three of the six houses would be available for tenants to put their rent toward permanent ownership.
Six, fully-equipped 400-foot homes will be built at the corner of West North Street and North Westnedge Avenue, each with a porch facing a central social gathering space. A training building will provide space for programming.
The site plan shared Friday details the development’s structures. Google maps provides on-the-ground orientation.