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Small-home community concept explored in Sturgis

A unique housing concept is under consideration in Sturgis. 

Sturgis City Commission on July 26 heard a presentation regarding a proposed clustered single-family housing project at 208 N. Prospect St. 

That property is a vacant parcel owned by Sturgis Housing Development Corporation.

Sturgis Housing Commission has been in discussions with city staff regarding the proposal. The presentation was a first step to gauge the city commission’s interest. William Prichard, community development director, opened the presentation with a brief summary of the idea, describing it as a “pocket neighborhood.”

Craig Bolthouse of the housing commission provided the board with additional detail and renderings. It is proposed for five standalone home units, with a common parking area. The units aren’t truly “tiny homes,” as commonly used, simply smaller-scale houses. It would involve stick-built construction, not modular. Home maintenance and yard upkeep would be provided.

The homes are to be rental-only, with no option to buy. However, a lease agreement could include an incentive for longer-term renters, with a percentage of rent payment placed into an account. At the end of the lease, that money could be used as a down-payment for a home purchase. The funds could not be used for any other purpose, Bolthouse said.

A grant from Department of Housing and Urban Development would be obtained to build the village, through Sturgis Housing Commission.

Bolthouse said that, eventually, similar developments could be considered for other properties owned by the city. 

“We could revolutionize housing in Sturgis, over the long term,” Bolthouse said. 

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