How One Detroit TikToker Plans To Leverage His Platform Of 1.4 Million Followers To Raise Awareness And Help Him Buy Back His Block
Photo Credit: Getty Images

How One Detroit TikToker Plans To Leverage His Platform Of 1.4 Million Followers To Raise Awareness And Help Him Buy Back His Block

Rapper Tray Little is planning to spin the block to possibly buy it back.

The Detroit News reports the rapper with 1.4 million followers on TikTok is using his platform to make his dreams come true.

“This is where most of my childhood memories came from. It literally shaped the perspective that I have on life,” Little said, according to The Detroit News “Everything that I do, when I’m traveling around the world, it all started here.”

Using His TikTok Platform To Bring Attention To An Important Cause

Neighborhood Has Changed Drastically

The neighborhood block has changed drastically since Little departed in 2008. His former 2,500-square-foot-duplex is now replaced with wooden boards and broken windows. The duplex joins other properties on the block that are now boarded up. However, there are still some residents who have remained.

“Some people stood strong,” Little said, according to The Detroit News. “(They) believed that they couldn’t let go of their homes, even when everybody else left.”

Buy The Block Campaign

Now, Little is working to revitalize his childhood home and he doesn’t seem to be stopping there. Little has launched the Buy the Block campaign alongside Brian Owen, a real estate broker and investor in the project.

They are working to submit a $150,000 development proposal to Detroit’s Land Bank Authority. The purpose is to secure a green light for a community garden center on four vacant lots and to rehab a home.

“So many people constantly message asking what’s the address and I know someone is going to try to get it before I do,” Little said to The Detroit News. “But even if that does happen, it’s not about me necessarily owning the house myself. I just want to see it restored.”

Few Hurdles

While Little is optimistic that his plan will work, he has experienced a few stumbling blocks such as his childhood home being sold by the Detroit Land Bank Authority in 2020 for $1,200. However, he hopes to connect with the homeowner to make an offer.

For now, his eyes are set on buying other properties in the neighborhood. Since he is no longer a resident, Little will be required to present a development plan, his finances, and secure contractors.

“We need to bring schools back, commerical properties, some affordable apartments so that people like me from the neighborhood can come back, relive and recreate those memories,” Little said, according to The Detroit News.

Plans To Make First Purchase On Childhood Block This Month

Little is staying vigilant on the Land Bank Website for available properties. He is also working to secure his real estate license and learning the ropes of the financial process of buying properties.

By the end of the month, Little and Owen plan to make their first purchase on Little’s childhood block.