So, starting in 2014, Write a House in Detroit is accepting applications for authors in residence. They'll give the deed of the house to the selected candidate, who will be rent free but responsible for property insurance and taxes.
A WAH Author-in-Residence will be expected to contribute to their blog, participate in local artsy things, and live there primarily. They'll be published in the Write a House literary journal. At the end of two years, the house is the candidate's. Should they decide not to remain in Detroit within 5 years, WAH retains the first buyer's rights option. There are professional connections to be had, and a cultural community to take part in.
Detroit has a bad rap. We all know it. I've learned about it in doing my research for The Last Song. But we also know that Bad Things are clickbait, and that the good things going on in Detroit aren't necessarily being reported. There's a lot of revitalization there. There's an artistic community there. The Riverfront Conservacy is another organization I've read about, and Detroit Dog Rescue. People think they're clever with their freaking Robocop jokes, but Detroit is still an American city, with people living there, struggling to get by, and struggling to make their city a thriving home again.
In another life, I could see myself wanting to apply to such a program. Who I am today, who I am now, I don't. I have a house, a job, a fiancè, a dog, none of whom are Detroit related. I have just one book that takes place there, in an Urban Fantasy way. Maybe I'll visit Detroit one day, but I don't want to live there, but I think this in the same manner I think about New York City; I visit there on occasion, but have never had any intent to live there. For the right person, though, the Write a House offering is a unique and interesting experience, and I do hope it's a successful project for everybody involved.