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‘How I Will Fit Everything I Own?’: Black-Owned Developer Introduces Micro Home Community to Atlanta Area to Boost Homeownership

Micro homes are smaller than traditional homes and about half the price. The concept is a profitable passion project of an Atlanta native who is determined to boost Black homeownership in a city known for its Black excellence yet less than half own their own property.

Booker T. Washington is the founder and CEO of Techie Homes. He’s spent years working as a real estate developer and saw an opportunity to help the city’s predominantly Black population looking to buy a home more of a reality.

“I thought to bring a product that would provide innovation and density to include more people under the umbrella of homeownership, so I set path two years ago to develop that dream,” Washington said.

Booker T. Washington and Rashaad Jones Jennings invested in a micro home community in the Atlanta suburb of College Park aimed at boosting homeownership. (Photo: ABS)

Washington connected with his business partner, co-founder & COO of South Park Cottages, Rashad Jones Jennings. Jennings said he too spent many years working in real estate.

As the housing market soared throughout 2020 and into 2022 before interest rates slowed home buying, home sales reached record highs. CNN reported the national median home sale price last year was “$386,300, up 10.2% from 2021 and the highest on record.” Washington and Jennings took notice of the housing market and a growing pool of potential buyers.

Based on the going rate of buying a home and knowledge of the average income of Atlantans, Washington and Jennings seized an opportunity using micro homes to enter the housing market.

“The average median income in Atlanta is $40,000. The math ain’t mathing, and that goes for homeownership and renting. A lot of people can’t afford homeownership or buy. It’s imperative we get innovative and come up with products like this and keep everything under $250,000,” Jennings said.

The micro home community is located in College Park just a few minutes away from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The community has 29 micro homes, and all of them are sold, according to Washington.

An artist’s rendering of how the South Park Cottages micro home community could look once completed in March. (Photo:COO of South Park Cottages)

The model home featured a small living room space with a recliner-sized chair and a desk. The kitchen is also on the first floor which has a stove, refrigerator, ample counter space and cabinets. Next to the kitchen is a full-sized shower, toilet and sink. The upstairs also has a living room space that can comfortably hold a couch. The bedroom is also upstairs with its own bathroom.

In mid-February construction crews were still putting on the finishing touches with an expected completion date for some time in March.

“The land we’re on expired on the market twice for $90,000. Here we are with a $6 million development on Godby Road in College Park so it can be done,” Jennings said.

The micro homes are two-story units about 400 to 600 square feet in size. Washington said micro homes are competitive especially in densely populated cities like Atlanta.

“Over 3.7 million Atlantans live in an apartment. The average size of an apartment is 700 square feet and below,” Washington said.

The micro homes average 400 to 600 square feet and cost around $200,000. (Photo: ABS)

The micro homes sold between $180,000 to $230,000. It’s a price point well within range of second-grade school teacher Alexia Gosier of Atlanta.

“I always wanted a home. I knew I wanted to start in Atlanta and long-term I want to have multiple properties,” Gosier said.

Gosier, 26, said she had been looking to purchase a home for the last few years. She said throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the housing market was intense as interest rates skyrocketed. She kept her options open and kept an open mind. She admits she’s still getting used to the micro home concept.

“It was all new, and I’ve never seen a design like it,” Gosier said.

Alexia Gosier of Atlanta, Georgia purchased one of the micro homes in the South Park Cottages community. (Photo: Facebook/AlexiaGosier)

Gosier does not have any children and lives by herself. She believes a micro home will serve her well for now and has potential to produce passive income in the future.

“I knew it would be easy to turn into a rental property. It was an easy decision once I realized it was close to the airport,” Gosier said.

Washington and Jennings are thrilled they are able to make homeownership more obtainable for would-be homebuyers, especially the Atlanta area’s Black community. The Black Homeownership Collaborative reports Black homeownership is “50% compared to over 70% for whites.” Black homeowners “under age 35 is below 20%,” BHC added.

“We always talking about passing down legacy, South Park Cottages is an example of how to obtain really accessible homeownership,” Washington said.

“What I want to do is lead by example and inspire the next person to gentrify their own hood, or what I call, gentrification 2.0,” Jennings added.

Moving forward, Washington and Jennings are exploring other areas within the metro Atlanta to develop their next micro home community.

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