IN THE NEWS

Because of its long history and significant expertise as a comprehensive housing services provider, UCHC is often asked to provide advice to other organizations in communities across Southeast Michigan. Our work is also frequently mentioned in the news.



“I see thousands of people every year who need help,” says Michele Oberholtzer, founder of the Tricycle Collective, a non-profit helping Detroiters at risk of foreclosure. She also helps residents apply for the Step Forward program at the United Community Housing Coalition. “What we see in terms of the application for homeowners, is it’s very, very few people who are approved [for Step Forward Michigan.] I council my clients: ‘This is like a free lottery ticket. It doesn’t hurt to apply, but you’re very unlikely to win.’”

"A public forum on June 17 addressed the continuing tax foreclosure crisis in Detroit that has left thousands of families facing imminent eviction from their homes.  The forum was organized by the Coalition to Stop Unconstitutional Property Tax Foreclosures, composed of many community groups including the Moratorium Now! Coalition, Detroit BYP100, the Detroit People’s Platform, the United Community Housing Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union."

"Since 2002, at least 150,000 Detroit residents have lost their homes for failure to pay taxes, or because they were renting from a landlord who, unbeknownst to them, had not been paying. In May, United Community Housing Coalition tax foreclosure prevention project coordinator Michele Oberholtzer explained the larger implications of the ongoing tax foreclosure crisis as she prepared a group of volunteers to reach out to Detroit residents affected:
"What we have is a system that is losing the city and the county money. It's resulting in people losing their homes, it's leading to vacancies and evictions, it's leading to concentrated properties in very few hands (with the Land Bank now owning more than 100,000 homes)," Oberholtzer told the group gathered at the nonprofit's offices. "And we have this downhill spiral that makes it harder for everyone in the community.""

"Annie Perry sits in a bejeweled knit cap, waiting for her number to be called at a foreclosure prevention meeting. ... It’s being hosted by the nonprofit, United Community Housing Coalition. Perry, an 83-year-old Alabama native, is facing tax-foreclosure on the house she and her husband bought in Detroit in 1970. Her southern manners show through when she talks about the people she’s met with at the Wayne County Treasurer’s office. ...'Very sweet girl,” Perry says. “All of them sweet down there. I want them to know that. Everybody’s nice.'"

"Many Detroit residents gathered at University of Detroit Mercy School of Law May 20 to attend a summit on housing in Detroit aimed at educating residents about their rights and options...  [state Rep. Stephanie] Chang has proposed a bill — House Bill 4456 — that would allow local governments to regulate rents of seniors and individuals with disabilities to protect them from being charged beyond their income, although she said the future of such measures is by no means a sure thing."

"The yearly effort to save thousands of Wayne County residents from losing their homes in the tax foreclosure auction is ramping up as a key deadline approaches, and a housing advocacy group is looking for volunteers to help go door-to-door to give Detroiters the information they need to keep a roof over their heads."

"Over the next few weeks, volunteers with the United Community Housing Coalition will be canvassing homes at risk at ending up on the annual Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction."

"The clock is ticking on homeowners in Wayne County who received tax foreclosure notices. They have until June 7 to either pay their taxes or sign up for a payment plan. ...United Community Housing Coalition is conducting door-to-door outreach and providing counseling for homes facing foreclosure."

My Detroit Cable
April 28 2017 
"Rodney Cotton and 39,000 other Detroiters are able to keep their homes thanks to the Tax Foreclosure Prevention Program."

"A Detroit developer with big plans to buy up 25 square miles of property on the city's northwest side. ... But officials at United Community Housing Coalition question how much success this plan can achieve and point to other plans that had the same mission, but came up short. ... 'Paramount Mortgage is one that comes to mind a few years ago,' said attorney Ted Phillips. '(They) got 2,000 properties in a couple year period. They got $10 million in the Detroit police and fire pension fund. And when they left a short time later, 90 percent of those were in demolition status.'"

The Detroit News
January 17 2017 
One of the ways that low-income Detroit residents could avoid foreclosure is by applying for a state property tax exemption that would reduce or eliminate property taxes, officials say, but is it a multi-step process that must be applied for every year and is underutilized by at least 12,000 residents. Now, the University of Michigan is launching a partnership with United Community Housing Coalition, the Detroit organization helping residents avoid foreclosure, as part of an initiative aimed at finding solutions to address poverty."




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