1. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Free houses for writers in Detroit

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jannert, Dec 22, 2013.

    Just ran across this article in Huffingdon Post. One of Detroit's regeneration projects is to form an artist/writer's colony, using abandoned homes. They are looking for low-income writers (to apply in the spring) to be given refurbished homes free of charge. They can live in them for 2 years, and then they'll either be given to somebody else or there are lease/buy options available, apparently.

    Interesting.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/write-a-house-detroit_n_4474976.html
     
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  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's great, if anyone's brave enough to want to live in the second most crime-ridden, grungiest city in the US... of course, being in the middle of the 'action' would give writers of crime novels plenty of grist for their mill!
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I think it's a fantastic idea. I would love to live in an artist community. When I took my first trip alone out of the country I can't tell you how many people who only knew the world by the news told me what a dangerous place the Dominican Republic (my first stop) was. When I got there I found out a decade earlier a dictator was overthrown. That was it. That was the thing that made everyone believe the place was dangerous. Needless to say, I loved the place and never once felt I was in any danger.

    Like any big city, there will be bad and unsafe neighborhoods in Detroit. But it's almost impossible there won't also be plenty of nice areas of town. It depends where the houses are that renovation is planned.
     
  5. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    Sounds like it's too good to be true. I mean, something that easy can't be handed to you. C'mon, there has got to be a catch.
     
  6. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I think living in Detroit at the moment will be anything but easy. The infrastructure has been wiped out, and people need to be very proactive as to how they manage to liveā€”and that will include the writers who take up this offer.

    @mammamaia
    From what I've been able to discover, lots of the 'crime' has disappeared, as there is very little left to steal. Whole swaths of neighbourhoods have gone back to wild plants, etc. Folks are running communal gardens on the vacant ground, and feeding themselves during the summer and autumn months. Former gang leaders and their followers are now helping to restore homes(for free), using materials salvaged from other homes, and have used their 'gang' skills to help people instead of what they did before. Apparently the mindset there at the moment is extremely interesting. The idea behind this project is is that writers will find lots of grist for their mill in this kind of a situation, and will help to repopulate the city.

    I remember Detroit from my childhood and teenaged years (I'm from northern Michigan) as being the scariest place I ever visited. In fact, visits to Detroit totally put me off cities, and it wasn't until I visited places like Boston, Winnipeg, Seattle, etc, that I realised all cities weren't like that. Living in Glasgow cemented my liking for city life, and I am no longer intimidated by cities. I understand Detroit has changed out of all recognition, and I believe the changes are interesting. People writing post-apocalyptic stories could do worse than study Detroit. The regeneration is quite uplifting, actually ...especially as you know what will eventually emerge will be nothing like the 'old' Detroit was. For people who loved the old Detroit, that is probably bad news. For others, maybe not so bad.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    google for the project and take a look at the houses to be offered!... they're sure as bleep not in the 'crime-free' areas... how else could the folks doing this afford to acquire them?
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, I believe (although I'm not totally sure about all of them) that they have just been abandoned. Many were burned by vandals, but even the vandals began to see sense, eventually. There are all sorts of projects on the go at the moment to get as many of these houses as possible back into living condition again. I think people need to forget what inner city Detroit USED to be like, and realise that it's radically changing now.

    A recent quote from (I believe) The Guardian said that Detroit city's population has dropped from around 2 million to around 700,000 since the crunch happened. That's quite a loss of people.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  9. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    There are places like this in cities all across the country. Check out places in Memphis, TN. You can buy a house for under $10,000.
     
  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    There's a lot of blue in this map of Detroit's crime areas. I can't quite tell where the addresses are of the planned renovated houses but it is in an area with safe areas next to less safe areas according to the map.
     
  11. Thomas Kitchen
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    That's great! I can't wait to apply and-

    Oh. It's in Detroit.

    Everything interesting happens in America. :(
     

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