Write A House, is a different kind of writer’s residency program. Writers are invited to apply to live rent-free for two years in a recovered Detroit house, with the chance to get the deeds to the house at the end of that period.
Write A House is refurbishing three two-bedroom houses in Detroit – all within walking distance of each other – and offering them for free to writers to live in. If the writers stay for two years, engage with the city’s literary community and contribute to the project blog, they’ll get the deed to their house.
The homes are in emerging, active, and diverse neighbourhoods. It won’t be Beverly Hills, but maybe that’s okay. Even if you already live in Detroit, you are encouraged to apply.
The houses are promoted as ‘80% inhabitable’, which essentially means that writers need to paint their houses and provide their own furniture. From the photos in the gallery however it would appear that a lot more than a simple paint job is required to make these homes liveable.
Of course there are conditions, Writers need to have been published before, though the organisation is particularly interested in supporting emerging writers. It’s open to low-income writers only. Writers don’t need to be US citizens to apply – but they do need ‘some legitimate proof that US government would grant you permanent residency’.
Write A House was co-founded by journalist Sarah Cox and novelist Toby Barlow, who both moved from Brooklyn to Detroit within the past decade, attracted by its cheap housing and the lifestyle that offered.
‘People who move here will have to be prepared for some boarded-up houses on their blocks,’ says Sarah Cox. ‘But you’ll get the opportunity to be part of a community, own a house, see some real change happening.’
Sounds interesting I must admit. If you are interested or would like some more information check out the website www.writeahouse.org.