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.



"Canvassers are telling homeowners about workshops on property tax exemption happening over the coming weeks in each of Detroit’s seven city council districts. At the workshops, homeowners will meet with tax foreclosure prevention counselors from United Community Housing Coalition who can help them figure out if they are eligible for the savings and, if so, how to apply."

"UCHC and the Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF) will be partnering with an additional eight community development organizations on "an extensive education effort addressing the pervasive issue of tax foreclosure in Detroit."

"The county requires that tax-delinquent homeowners pay 10% of the total tax owed to enter a reduced-interest payment plan, but for Detroiters living in poverty, that’s an insurmountably high bar.  A two-year, $500,000 grant made by the McGregor Fund to the United Community Housing Coalition would have helped -- part of the grant would have covered the 10%, buying homeowners time to pay off the total tax debt."

"Oberholtzer said she helped roughly 40 people apply for tax exemptions up through the end of the auction. She said this year’s auction was particularly devastating to her clients. She says of 140 homes owned by her clients, 100 were sold at auction."

"The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF) has partnered with the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) and eight community development organizations to launch an extensive education effort addressing the pervasive issue of tax foreclosure in Detroit. This door-to-door outreach will attempt to reach all 60,000 residential properties behind on property taxes and connect residents at risk of tax foreclosure to resources."

"A last-ditch effort is underway to help tax-foreclosed homeowners avoid displacement — but will it work?"

Crain's Detroit Business
October 11 2017 
"Homeownership gives families an opportunity to thrive and grow equity in their homes," Phillips said in a statement. "But when foreclosed homes are purchased by investors at the tax auction, occupants are evicted, investor-owned homes are often neglected and blighted, and neighborhoods quickly destabilize. Keeping families in their homes directly benefits the families, their neighborhoods, and the city."

Detroit Metro Times
October 4 2017 
"The number of occupied homes in this year’s tax foreclosure auction is far lower than recent years, with city and county officials attributing the improvement to a reduced-interest payment plan and better outreach to promote assistance available. But housing advocates have said the lower number of homes in the auction belies the fact that tens of thousands of households are still at least two years behind on their taxes — meaning they could soon receive foreclosure notices and wind up next year’s auction. About 36,000 Wayne County residents are currently on payment plans for the taxes they owe on their homes."

Crain's Detroit Business
October 3 2017 
"The moves will keep the renters in their homes, allow them to become homeowners and build equity as the city's housing market comes back."

Michigan Radio
September 25 2017 
"There's 80 tenants that we hope will be able to buy the homes that they're occupying for a portion of the taxes that their landlord failed to pay," says Phillips. "They're either going to basically buy directly from the city, or if they don't have sufficient funds, we will buy it and then sell to them for the cost of what it took to do that."

Crain's Detroit Business
September 20 2017 
Denise Tanks, a mother of two, was renting a home on Detroit's west side that was foreclosed upon after the landlord didn't pay the property taxes. She's now working with the United Community Housing Coalition to buy the home after the foreclosure is complete. Tanks spoke Tuesday at a news conference at the Butzel Family Recreation Center.”

Model D
September 11 2017 
Frederick is among hundreds of residents who have volunteered their time to clean up, beautify, and revitalize their neighborhood with the assistance of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC) and its Vacant Property Task Force throughout the last several years. ... The task force advocates for the demolition of blighted properties and has worked with Detroit Future City's Implementation Office to install landscaping that manages storm water runoff. It also partners with the United Community Housing Coalition and U-Snap-Bac to offer annual tax foreclosure prevention workshops to teach residents about assistance programs.

“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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