Motown Movement Aims For Affordable, Sustainable Housing [PHOTOS]

Dutch architecture students are turning blighted home into neighborhood education center.

When Ronen Dan and Bob Hendrikx first came to Detroit from the Netherlands, they saw the blight they’d heard about in Dutch media. They also saw something else: hope.

“Before we visited Detroit, we expected to see an exceptional phenomenon: a metropolitan city in full decay,” Dan recalls. “Instead, we saw a city putting itself back together and recovering its lost glory.”

Dan, Hendrikx and fellow architecture student Dominik Lukkes, used that inspiration to found The Motown Movement. Together, they acquired a vacant two-story home on Ford Street in Hope Village. When they’re done fixing it up, they say it will not only provide a new home for a needy family, it will serve as an education center for the neighborhood. Hendrikx says the house will also feature environmentally sustainable systems.

“It will have a green roof, solar panels, a windmill,” Hendrikx says. “There will also be an urban farm located next to the house.”

Ronen Dan says The Motown Movement is working with a housing nonprofit, The Tricycle Collective, to find a family to live in the upper floor of the house. 

WDET’s Quinn Klinefelter featured Bob Hendrikx in 2016: Must Detroit Shrink to Survive?

The Greening of Detroit, Focus:HOPE, EcoWorks, and other groups are working with The Motown Movement, which has also started a crowd-funding campaign to complete the project this summer. Click on the audio player to hear WDET’s Pat Batcheller talk with Dan and Hendrikx

Here’s a link to The Motown Movement’s Patronicity page.

Bob Hendrikx

Bob Hendrikx



  • Pat Batcheller
    Pat Batcheller is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news, traffic and weather updates during Morning Edition. He is an amateur musician.