project leader
Emily S
Mackay St.
(East Davison Village)
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the project

Building by building, we are working toward realizing our vision that every family in East Davison Village has access to safe, healthy, affordable, and stable housing. We are long-term residents who have stuck it out through the hard times and newer neighbors combining our resources and skills to ensure a brighter, healthier and safer neighborhood. We are beginning to overcome foreclosures, abandonment, and property speculation that prevent neighbors from owning, caring for, and building wealth through their housing. 

With your support we will further stabilize the block with high-quality neighbor-to-neighbor home repairs. 

Our neighborhood is full of skilled workers who are banding together to assist each other in urgent home repairs. Timely repairs and preventative measures can make our blocks safer; avoid high energy bills, and extend the lifespan of these homes. $1,000 of materials per home and volunteer labor relieves significant financial burden for seniors on fixed incomes or low-income families raising children.

Many of the home repair programs in Detroit have wait list that are years long, so our agile model allows us to respond very quickly to needed repairs that threaten the safety and health of our neighborhood:

  • Installing gutters helps to divert water away from basements
  • Fixing broken windows reduces heating costs 
  • Simple plumbing repairs reduce the risk of mold growth.
  • Replacing missing shingles preserves the interior of homes.

Using a mutual aid approach, we are able to spread these funds across many homes. Repairs are led by skilled workers from the neighborhood who are known and trusted to ensure that they are done safely and accurately. We are all always learning from each other and skill-sharing. When one home gets a repair, that family can "pay it forward" by helping on the next neighbor’s house.


the steps

1. Identfy needed repairs and project leaders (Complete)

We know who is skilled at which trades and can lead projects. A crew of volunteers already runs a weekly grocery distribution and can mobilize additional helpers. 

2. Purchase materials in bulk (October)

Buying materials in bulk saves money and time. A local gutter company has offered to cut seamless gutters at a deeply reduced rate if we can have 5 houses ready at the same time. A local paint store has paint at great prices. 

3. Begin repairs (October and November)

 It is rapidly getting colder, so we will start immediately to weatherize and winterize homes. 

4. Maintain and grow connections

We aim to show that a relatively small amount of money can be converted into significant changes when many people lend a hand. We believe this model can work in neighborhoods all around Detroit, and through working with volunteers from all over, we hope to spread the model and realize these secondary benefits above and beyond the home repairs:

Job creation

Financial literacy

Learning skilled trades

Active participation in community change

Diverse role models

New models of ownership and community care

Beautification of environment

Increased family engagement

Cross-cultural collaboration


why we're doing it

East Davison Village is located in Detroit north of Hamtramck and west of Banglatown. Houses here were built one hundred years ago. Many of the residents have family ties to the area going back generations.

Since 2017, we have been working collectively to strengthen the social safety net through community gardening, house repairs, increasing civic engagement in local governement and planning studies and skill sharing. Black, White, Bangladeshi and Yemeni, our backgrounds are different but we share the common goal of living in a safe, healthy and vibrant neighborhood

Through our organizing efforts, we have helped a dozen households navigate city and Land Bank processes to work toward long-term housing and land security to rebuild Black generational wealth. Two families have been able to buy back old family homes and are working on restoring them. Other families are first-time home owners; the first in their family! 

Deep love and community support has helped people persevere through decades of disenvestment and demolition in East Davison Village.

In the 1960s, the thriving commercial corridor of Davison Avenue was demolished for the construction of the I-75/Davison highway exchange. The theaters, bowling alleys, streetcar lines and dozens of black-owned small businesses were destroyed, gutting the neighborhood economy. The recession and foreclure crisis wreaked further hardship- at one point recently the Land Bank owned over 65% of the homes and vacant lots. In the last 5 years, housing prices have increased drastically, pricing out current residents. 

Through our work together and in partnership with Bandhu Gardens, Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, Golden Quetzal and other organizations, we have seen how systems of mutual aid can transform a relatively small amount of money into very significant change. We thank you for your support and look forward to working alongside you!

For more context about the need for home repairs in Detroit, check out this recent article: Detroiters want to fix up their homes. The path to do that isn't easy


Updated Budget (10.18.21)

TOTAL RAISED = $10,590.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $529.50
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $197.70


Original Budget:

Our goal is to support at least 6 families through these funds. Each household will have different needs, so material costs will vary by house.

By leveraging sweat equity and skilled volunteer labor, we are able to make the funds go even further




Pressure Treated wood


Gutters to divert water away from foundations and basement

Window repairs


Modest stipend to team leaders to teach building and repair skills

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $489
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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