International Writers in Residence Program where you get to keep the house
This is the most exciting and original literary project I’ve ever heard of and its aim is to heal a broken city. Detroit – home of Motown, Hip Hop, and the US motor industry – was declared bankrupt just a couple of weeks ago on December 3rd. It is now one of the poorest cities in America and its population has declined by a quarter between 2000 and 2010. The result is high unemployment, abandoned houses and distressed neighbourhoods. Write-A-House is tackling those problems in an imaginative way. First they train young people in carpentry and building skills who then work on empty houses and bring them back to life. Then the charity give the renovated houses away to low income writers – at least three homes a year.
Writers can come from anywhere in the world – I’m not sure how that works with US immigration controls but Write-A-House seem committed to the international aspect.
They will allocate houses on:
Quality of the writing submitted
Promised contribution to the local community
For the first two years the writer lives rent free – they only have to pay for taxes and insurance – and then they are handed the deeds of the property. If they want to sell up in the first five years Write-A-House has first refusal.
They will start accepting applications in spring 2014 but you can sign up now Write-A-House so you will be alerted when the project starts.