WHAT EXACTLY IS
WRITE A HOUSE?
Write A House is a different kind of writer’s residency program. The Detroit writers and urban activists who founded the organization in 2012 did so with this goal: To use vocational training to renovate longtime vacant homes, and then give away these homes to writers. For keeps. Forever. We don’t know of another movement like this, but then Detroit is a unique place. Our idea supports literary arts, vocational education, neighborhood stabilization, and the creation of more vibrant cities.
WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THESE HOUSES? ARE THEY FORECLOSURES?
It’s true that foreclosure has had a devastating effect on Detroit, and we strongly support reforms to help people stay in their homes. Our program does not profit off the too-frequent practice of foreclosure. The homes we are rehabilitating are boarded-up structures that have been vacant for a very long time. Our practice is to purchase them by auction through the Detroit Land Bank Authority.
HOW ARE YOU FIXING UP THESE HOMES?
We partner with professionals and vocational education programs to turn these dilapidated houses into vibrant homes for writers. We work with Detroit-based Patrick Thompson Design and Zac Cruse Construction Company. Our vocational education arm is sponsored by Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, where apprentices work close with the construction and design workers to learn their trade by practicing it.
Due the high levels of vacancy in Detroit, the biggest challenge we face is not purchasing homes, but finding the funds to renovate and restore them. Depending on the level of functionality of your home and the location, we might be interested. Please feel free to email us with details and images of your home as well as the address.
I LIKE WHAT YOU'RE DOING. CAN I DONATE A HOME I OWN IN DETROIT?
We are not interested in purchasing additional homes at this time.
I DON'T WANT MY HOUSE ANYMORE. CAN YOU BUY THIS HOUSE I OWN IN DETROIT?
Thank you! We’d be honored by your support. Our greatest need is raising funds to support the renovation costs of our houses. We can promise that if you donate to our Fundly campaign, we will make sure your dollars are used responsibly to support writers, vocational education for Detroit youth, and neighborhood stabilization. We’d also love if you’d help spread the word about our work and our campaign!
Please also stay tuned to our Facebook page for opportunities to support us directly through clean-up days, literary events, and more.