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.



Detroit Free Press
November 5, 2018
"You can do this Right of Refusal,” [Ted Phillips] thought to himself. ... So, this is one of those things where a city that’s interested in being pragmatic and working with advocates and advocates interested in working collaboratively were able to do something together, and I think that’s the way we try to organize our department and our staff," he said. "Listen, be partners."

Click on Detroit
November 5, 2018
"Tenants at Detroit's Park Avenue House Apartments were stunned last month when they learned they needed to move out. Rumors of a sale caused the building's owner to move quickly, working to get longtime residents out. Since then, Mayor Mike Duggan's office has been working to make sure the residents are being treated fairly."

Fox 2 Detroit
November 5, 2018
"Many neighbors living in the historic building are low-income and have been there for decades, but everyone received eviction notices in early October after the building's owner sold it."

Curbed Detroit
November 5, 2018
"After residents received the notices in October, the city stepped in to offer assistance; the city council approved $350,000 in emergency funds to be moved to the United Community Housing Coalition in order to help residents find new living arrangements.
In an even stranger turn of events, Harrington wanted appliances removed from the residential units in the building, according to the Free Press. The city responded with a cease and desist letter."

WDIV Detroit
November 3, 2018
"It's a big win for people evicted from an historic Detroit building. Residents of the Park Avenue House no longer have to be out in days. They now have months to find a new place to live."

Detroit Free Press
November 3, 2018
"Eviction notices canceled at downtown Detroit's Park Avenue House.

The Detroit News
October 28, 2018
"We are absolutely not out of the woods," said Ted Phillips, director of the United Community Housing Coalition. "People are still in tax debt that is not manageable."

Detroit Free Press
October 26, 2018
"The City of Detroit issued a cease and desist letter to the owners of Park Avenue House after getting wind Friday that the owner planned to remove hotel-owned refrigerators and microwaves from units —  a week and a half before the 30-day deadline residents were given, earlier this month, to vacate the building. ... Last week, Detroit City Council approved a motion to move $350,000 in emergency funds to United Community Housing Coalition, a local nonprofit that works on housing issues in the city."

Detroit Metro Times
October 26, 2018
""Detroit narrative-shifters are people who counteract the way Detroit is misrepresented by uplifting the often invisible perspectives and stories of the city," says DNA's director. "We support narrative-shifting through community accountability, ethics and a commitment to rigorous craft and aesthetics." The screening takes place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Detroit's Bel Air Luxury cinema on Eight Mile Road. A director Q&A will follow each screening. Register for the event here. The films include: ...Take Me Home, a documentary short directed by Orlando Ford. 
A home foreclosure crisis has gripped Detroit, Michigan for over a decade. In this time, illegally inflated property taxes have caused more than 100,000 working families to lose their homes. The last time Americans experienced anything near this alarming rate of foreclosure was during the Great Depression. While headlines read of the so-called rebirth of Motor City, many Detroit neighborhoods have been devastated with African-American communities hit hardest of all. Take Me Home follows one family as they fight to save their home, and struggle to keep their neighborhoods and communities from being lost.
In partnership with United Community Housing Coalition, The Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosure and Detroit Eviction Defense. ""

Crain's Detroit Business
October 18, 2018
"Nowling said the eviction notices for residents — many of whom are low-income — were issued by the property's seller. ... "None of this talk of moving residents out in 30 days was any condition of any offer they put on the table," Nowling said. "That was the seller's sole action.""

Detroit Free Press
October 18, 2018
"On Tuesday, Detroit City Council approved a motion to move $350,000 in emergency funds to  United Community Housing Coalition. The coalition is a local nonprofit that works on housing issues in the city and has taken initiative on this situation. ... The money will be used to provide moving assistance to those who want to move, as well as free lawyers for those who want to fight the eviction."

The Detroit News
October 18, 2018
"The developer worked with Detroit’s Department of Housing and Revitalization, Midtown Detroit Inc. and the United Community Housing Coalition. The city supported tax abatements and funding to supplement the rents of tenants who lived elsewhere during the renovation."

Detroit Free Press
October 13, 2018
"A request to move $350,000 in emergency funds to United Community Housing Coalition will go before city council on Tuesday, according to Wiley. The coalition is a local nonprofit that works on housing issues in the city and has taken initiative on this situation. An additional $50,000, Wiley said, is “already in the works and does not need council approval.”"

WXYZ Detroit
October 11, 2018
"City of Detroit tries to intervene in Park Avenue Hotel evictions. ... The city and the United Community Housing Coalition will hold a meeting on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. at the Central Methodist Church in Detroit to help find other housing options for the displaced tenants.

WDET
September 12, 2018
"We are in the first round of Wayne County’s annual tax foreclosure auction. Online bidding continues over the next few days and closings begin on Monday. ... Bottom line is this has not been a great way to collect taxes,” says Ted Phillips, executive director of the United Community Housing Coalition.

Michigan Radio
September 1, 2018
"The program brings the number of occupied properties that will be sold at auction next month down to around 1000, the lowest number in years. Though numbers are down significantly in the past couple of years, tax foreclosure—and property tax delinquency—remain major problems in Detroit." 

Science Christian Monitor
August 31, 2018
"According to the county, owner-occupied foreclosures in Detroit are down 89 percent in the past two years, while foreclosures of all homes are down 78 percent. Advocates on the ground question these numbers. 
'It’s entirely likely that more homeowners are in foreclosures than what their numbers show,' says Ted Phillips, executive director of the United Community Housing Coalition. He points out that 40,000 homes were up for foreclosure at the beginning of this year, mostly unoccupied properties, but still many thousands of occupied ones, too."
 
Curbed Detroit
August 2, 2018
"Broder & Sachse also completed the Scott at Brush Park in recent years, along with the rehab of the Albert in Capitol Park in 2014. In that development, units were rehabbed into upscale apartments, displacing its senior residents. The developers worked with the United Community Housing Coalition for housing needs and offered monetary assistance to the residents in that redevelopment, but seniors still had to move from their homes." 

The Detroit News
July 26, 2018
"The nonprofit has about 140 applicants so far in the process. The group has knocked on doors of all the foreclosed properties believed to be occupied, trying to educate owners and done mailings. They plan on visiting homes a second time before the deadline." 

The Detroit News
July 18, 2018
"A tenant has no advantage over the general public when they (houses) go up for auction," Oberholtzer said. "We love the opportunity to help the person who lives in the home become the owner. And recognize the value to the entire community of having more homeowners." 

ModelD Media
July 17, 2018
Through its partnership with Quicken Loans and United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), the city also announced it would be expanding its program to buyback homes in tax foreclosure from 80 to 300 homes."

Michigan Radio
July 13, 2018
Partly as a result of that settlement, the city has also expanded its right of first refusal program. That allows cities to buy back homes the county has already foreclosed on before auction. This year, Detroit aims to take back at least 300 homes, then pass them onto the United Community Housing Coalition, which will work with the current occupants on a buy-back plan."

Detroit Free Press
July 13, 2018
Our partners have worked tirelessly," said Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree, adding that community groups have played a major role in the effort. "They did the lion's share of the work ... and these efforts have worked. We knocked on over 5,200 doors letting people  know their properties were at risk."

Crain's Detroit Business
July 10, 2018
Existing, qualified renters are given the opportunity to buy the homes for $2,500-$5,500, with the price determined according to the value of each home. The loans are interest-free and paid back over six months. ... Funds from each home sale go back to fiduciary United Community Housing Coalition to be redeployed in the tax foreclosure prevention effort.

MLive.com
July 10, 2018
Through a partnership with United Community Housing Coalition and Quicken Loans Community Fund started in 2017, renters of 80 foreclosed houses had the opportunity to purchase the houses for as little as $2,500.

Curbed Detroit
July 6, 2018
“Earlier this week, the ACLU of Michigan and the City of Detroit reached a settlement after a two-year lawsuit over how the city administers property tax breaks for the poor, often leading to foreclosures. In the agreement, these homeowners will be able to stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure for $1,000. The ACLU says the settlement will also make the process “less burdensome” for those applying for the program.”

Metro Times
July 5, 2018
“Since 2003, TFPP has run a program to help residents of foreclosed homes buy back their properties in auction. Beginning with “seed money” drawn from the private accounts of two visionary, generous lawyers, the TFPP has enabled over 3,000 residents to buy the homes they live in, mostly through tax foreclosure auction purchases. This service mitigates the worst social consequences of the auction, which include permanent displacement and blight.”

ACLU
July 3, 2018
“We are excited to partner with the City of Detroit and community organizations to craft a creative settlement that will prevent thousands of Detroiters from losing their homes to tax foreclosure,” said Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the ACLU of Michigan.  “It is a win for homeowners unfairly facing loss of their homes, and a win for the city, which will have fewer abandoned properties in residential neighborhoods. This agreement will hopefully mark the beginning of the end of the worst tax foreclosure crises since the Great Depression.”

The Detroit News
July 2, 2018
"The ACLU of Michigan has reached a settlement in its 2016 lawsuit against Detroit, which includes a deal to save potentially thousands of foreclosed homes over the next three years by selling them back to low-income owners for $1,000. ...Steinberg said funding to buy the homes will come from charitable donations and $275,000 contributed by city as a part of the lawsuit settlement agreement. He said more funding from area foundations is expected for the program, which will be run by the United Community Housing Coalition, a city housing nonprofit."

Detroit Free Press
May 2, 2018
"On the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act, James Cristbrook of the Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors and Margaret Brown of the Fair Housing Center of Detroit agreed metro-Detroit’ status as one of the most segregated areas in the nation persists due to discrimination."

The Macomb Daily
April 19, 2018
"On the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act, James Cristbrook of the Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors and Margaret Brown of the Fair Housing Center of Detroit agreed metro-Detroit’ status as one of the most segregated areas in the nation persists due to discrimination."

The Marketplace
April 19, 2018
"Residents fought for a program like Home Swap so there’d be an option for people who didn’t lose their homes to eminent domain, but who didn’t want to stay in the increasingly industrialized area. Rather than offer residents cash to move wherever they’d like, the program is designed to help repopulate Detroit neighborhoods. For the first round, the city chose to make available houses in three Detroit neighborhoods."

Detroit Free Press
April 13, 2018
"After a decade in which one in four properties in Detroit have gone through tax foreclosure, there is still a serious lack of information about what to do when your landlord doesn’t pay the taxes and the government becomes the owner of your home."

Click On Detroit - Channel 4 News
April 10, 2018
"The University of Michigan's School of Public Health and Poverty Solutions initiative are working with the United Community Housing Coalition, a nonprofit in Detroit, to raise awareness about a program that can reduce property taxes for low-income residents."

Michigan Radio
April 9, 2018
"Ted Phillips, director of United Community Housing Coalition, says the Department of Housing and Urban development (HUD) isn’t renewing two grants UCHC relies on for 40% of its annual funding. “We’ve had a housing placement program the entire time that I’ve been here since 1986. And the thought of that being lost is just devastating,” Phillips said."

Detroit Free Press
April 9, 2018
"The defunding of UCHC has been a long time coming, according to Ted Phillips, the executive director of the program. 
While Phillips acknowledges that it could be tempting to some to want to tie the cuts to President Donald Trump — in February the administration announced its 2019 budget, which included an $8.8-billion cut in HUD funding — Phillips contends that the reality goes farther back. 
UCHC's homeless placement program is considered a "supportive service" — it counsels individuals through the housing system, versus providing actual housing — and for years, HUD has been deprioritizing such services, encouraging local entities who divvy out the funding — known as a Continuum of Care — to rank lower grant applications for support."

Fox 2 News
February 27, 2018
"There are stories of racially and socially diverse tenants living together inside the halls of an apartment complex in Detroit at MLK and Davenport, formerly named the Milner Arms Apartments. Now it's being renovated, renamed and soon to be reopened. 
The Hamilton, as it will be called, will forcefully push back any semblance of gentrification in Detroit. Claudia Sanford is proud.  As organizer of the United Community Housing Coalition, she's an advocate for Detroiters who want a fair shake. 'If we're not there then a lot of people fall through the cracks. This kind of project would be more difficult and the stress for tenants would be much greater than it already is,' she said."




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