[This post is part of our Best Practices series.  The series will highlight great ideas that you can apply to your own work.  If you want to share a best practice, contact Tiffany (select Membership on our Contact Form, or 517.485.3588).]

On October 1, 2009, CEDAM staff attended an event called Creative Cents in Lansing. One of our CDC members, the Greater Lansing Housing Coalition (GLHC), created this program as an innovative way to spur interest in four homes that they had rehabilitated but were having difficulty selling in this weak housing market.  The idea came from an interested volunteer who was involved in a similar program in Lafayette, Indiana.

The Creative Cents concept is similar to HGTV’s Design on a Dime television showThis is how you can implement it in your community:GLHC Creative Cents room at 809 Barber

  1. Invite local colleges or interior designers to volunteer to design one room in each home for sale.
  2. The budget is $300 (or whatever your organization decides), so designers will need to seek discounts or donations to help the dollars stretch.
  3. After the rooms are complete, send a press release and invite media and community members (i.e. potential homeowners) to view the rooms and vote for their favorite.

This is an inexpensive, creative tactic to move houses in a weak market. You can read more press and see photos of the finished rooms at GLHC’s Facebook page (no log-in required).

For more information about this program idea, please come to the session titled “Moving Homes in a Weak Market: An Innovative Best Practice” at the Michigan Conference on Affordable Housing (April 26-28, 2010). GLHC will be presenting this model in great detail during this session.

PS As a result of Creative Cents, GLHC sold a house that had been on the market for 3 years!!

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