The Abandoned Structure Squad opted for a change of pace this week. Instead of describing another of the rotting, fire-damaged eyesores that plague neighborhoods throughout this proud city, we decided to offer up an example of one attempt to deal with the city’s housing problem.

Students at Detroit’s A. Philip Randolph Career and Technical Center recently completed construction of a 960-square-foot home on Strathmoor Street. One thing that makes this home interesting, from an ASS perspective at least, is that it was constructed where an abandoned home once stood.

“There was a house on the lot, but it was really in bad shape,” said Joseph W. Smith, an administrator at A. Philip Randolph. “So we decided to tear it down and start from the beginning.”

Smith estimates that 40 to 50 students were involved in the project. The students did nearly all the work on the house except for the roofing, and the carpet and tile installation.

The project was accomplished with a grant provided by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

Smith said that the school plans to build more houses in the future.

“We would like to be able to do one house a year,” Smith said. “We’ve already set forth the groundwork for our next house.”

He said that the next house will be built on a site at the school, and will be transported to a permanent location upon completion.

Under MSHDA’s guidelines, the home must go to a first-time homebuyer who meets specific income qualifications. Those interested in finding out more about the house, which is being sold for $69,500, can phone Al Lucy at the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp., 313-835-8190, ext. 18.

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