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Write a House in Detroit (USA)

The Write a House program in Detroit is one of the most unique non-profit organizations out there. Write a House takes houses that were previously in foreclosure, and hires people from the community to make them habitable again. Then, the house is given to a writer, free of charge. The writer gets to keep the house forever, and the community benefits from work being available and the stability that new life-long neighbors bring. The program seeks to help foster an emerging literary community in Detroit, while at the same time creating jobs and teaching new skills in the construction and renovation fields. The first house was given away in 2014 to Casey Rochteau, a poet and historian.

The residency will begin accepting new applicants in 2016, and welcomes any applications from American citizens who fall in the low-to-moderate income bracket. The only stipulation once a writer receives the house is that they make it their permanent residence, and that they contribute in their own way to the fledgling literary community in Detroit. Once a probationary period is complete, the writer then owns the house, free and clear. If you’re a writer and wish to start a new life somewhere up-and-coming like Detroit, this is the perfect opportunity for you.

James R. Martin /

James R. Martin /



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