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Dec. 14, 2022
The City of Detroit’s plan to provide lower-income residents with free legal representation when faced with eviction took a major step forward last week when Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration announced the hiring of April Faith-Slaker to lead the new Office of Eviction Defense (OED) and Dylon Adrine to serve as its program manager.
OED officials will work with UCHC as the city's lead partner; the city's contract with UCHC is scheduled to go before City Council after its holiday break ends in January. The new Office of Eviction Defense is expected to be up and running on Jan. 3, 2023.
For the full story from the Detroit Metro Times, click the link below.
Nov. 26, 2022
If a homeowner dies without a trust or a will, transferring the title to an heir can be a complicated process involving probate court. And "tangled titles” can have repercussions for metro Detroit families and their neighborhoods.
"The need is far greater than what we can provide," says Michigan Legal Services attorney Alyssa Petroni. "Probate can be done without an attorney, but it's much easier with legal help."
For the full story in the Detroit Free Press, click the link below.
Nov. 9, 2022
UCHC's annual dinner is set to take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the International Institute of Metro Detroit. Come celebrate a year’s worth of accomplishments in Detroit and learn about the latest developments in eviction and foreclosure prevention.
This year's keynote speaker will be Kim Trent, Deputy Director for Prosperity of the Michigan Poverty Task Force. Shawn Jacque, General Counsel for 36th District Court, will give us an update on the changes in Detroit’s eviction court over the last year.
For more info, click the link below.
Nov. 2, 2022
Detroiters say home repairs are their top priority. According to a study by the University of Michigan, an estimated 37,630 Detroit homes need major repairs. For 13% of those households, the level of repair has reached hazardous conditions.
ABJ and Bridge Detroit examine the impact that unmet home repairs have on the city’s neighborhoods. For the full story, click the link below.
Oct. 13, 2022
The Rocket Community Fund, Mayor Mike Duggan, Detroit City Council, and UCHC celebrated our groundbreaking Make It Home program Thursday at UCHC's offices in Cass Park, paying tribute to homeowner Barbara Sledge and the 238 other Detroit residents who recently became homeowners.
For the full story from WDIV, click the link below:
Sept. 30, 2022
The second round of a city home repair program, slated to help 1,000 Detroiters with window or roof work, kicks off Saturday and runs through the end of October.
The Renew Detroit program, funded by $45 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars, covers home repairs for 2,000 low-income seniors and Detroiters with disabilities.
For the full story from the Detroit Free Press, click the link below.
Sept. 16, 2022
More than half of disabled Michiganders are struggling financially. In 2019, more than 650,000 people with disabilities in Michigan lived in poverty or were unable to afford the essentials — housing, child care, food, transportation, and health care.
For the full story from the Detroit Free Press, click the link below.
Sept. 14, 2022
It can be a real challenge for disabled people to find a place to live. That problem is particularly acute in Detroit, which has a higher percentage of disabled people than the rest of the state.
“We know that our population is getting older, and our single-family housing is, too," says Detroit Housing & Revitalization Department director Julie Schneider. "So there is definitely a need for more accessible housing in the city."
For the full story from Outlier Media, click the link below.
Sept. 8, 2022
You can expect more banks to start offering mortgages that don't require some first-time buyers to save up a large down payment — part of an effort to close the racial and ethnic homeownership gap, which is a big piece of the racial wealth gap.
For the full story from Axios Detroit, click the link below.
Sept. 7, 2022
There are many good reasons to know more about your landlord. Detroit has seen a legion of rental scam cases and landlords failing to maintain their properties. Information about a property’s tax status and history of blight violations can help protect renters from eviction or from signing a lease with an unscrupulous landlord.
So where should you start? This week, Outlier Media examines how to research a Detroit landlord.
Aug. 30, 2022
Rising mortgage rates and lingering inflation are forcing many Americans to put plans to buy a home on hold. That's pushing up rent prices for others. As PBS economics correspondent Paul Solman explains, no one has experienced that more acutely over the last year than people of color.
For the full story from PBS NewsHour, click the link below.
Aug. 29, 2022
Detroit purchased the tax-foreclosed homes from the Wayne County Treasurer with donated funds from the Rocket Community Fund and transferred the properties to the nonprofit United Community Housing Coalition. UCHC sold the properties to the tenants via quit claim deeds or 0% interest land contracts.
Since the initiative's beginning, the city has helped nearly 1,200 households in Detroit.
For the full story in The Detroit News, click the link below.
Aug. 24, 2022
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) has announced a plan to distribute more than $63 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support homeless and at-risk people across the state of Michigan. If approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the money will be used for affordable housing, eviction prevention, and financial assistance to help families experiencing homelessness find new housing.
For the full story from Michigan Radio, click the link below.
Aug. 23, 2022
About 1,000 non-owner-occupied homes in Detroit, including rental properties, went into tax foreclosure this year — a big uptick from right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
At the same time, the number of owner-occupied properties in the city that are headed to the Wayne County Treasurer's fall auction this year remains around pre-pandemic levels — an indicator that programs meant to keep those homes from foreclosure are working.
For the full story from the Detroit Free Press, click the link below.
Aug. 18, 2022
According to longtime property-tax analyst Alex Alsup, the number of chronically tax-delinquent homeowners in the city of Detroit has fallen 60%, from 17,000 in 2017 to 6,300 this year. Most often, it’s Detroit homeowners — not landlords or the owners of vacant property — who are catching up on old property-tax debt.
For the full story from Outlier Media, click the link below:
Aug. 16, 2022
Renters and housing advocates aim to form a citywide tenants association to push for safe, affordable housing in Detroit. The Detroit Tenants Association would be a start for renters in the city to protect themselves, says Steven Rimmer, coordinator of the Tenants Association of New Center Plaza. Rent prices, he says, are rising and displacing longtime Detroiters.
"It's just been a struggle," says Detroit resident M. Lewis Bass, who is on a fixed income and has been a renter for 49 years.
For the full story from the Detroit Free Press, click the link below:
Aug. 8, 2022
National Low Income Housing president Diane Yentel told a U.S. Senate committee last week that the average U.S. minimum-wage worker would need to work 96 hours a week to afford rent on a two-bedroom home or 79 hours a week just to afford the rent of a one-bedroom home at the fair market rate.
Read the full story at the link below from the Iowa Capital Dispatch.
July 31, 2022
Ted Phillips, executive director of the Detroit-based United Community Housing Coalition, says the CERA program was the difference between being in the shelters, on the streets, in a car or in an abandoned building.
“There’s a lot to do," he says, "but we can’t throw up our hands.”
For the full story in the Detroit Free Press, click the link below:
May 17, 2022
Evictions disproportionately affect households headed by Black women, seniors, and people with disabilities, but Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield says a new Right to Counsel law set to take effect in Detroit will help stabilize the city's neighborhoods.
“Out of the 30,000 eviction cases in Detroit, only 4% of those tenants had an attorney,” Sheffield says. “Half of all of the evictions that took place in Detroit could have been avoided if they had an attorney."
Click the link below for the full story from WDET.
April 19, 2022
Detroit City Council president Mary Sheffield says she and her colleagues are working hard to address a longstanding issue of overassessed taxes in the city of Detroit. This large overestimate is impacting thousands of homeowners.
Click the link below to watch the full report from WXYZ-TV, Channel 7.
March 31, 2022
A ruling issued Tuesday by a Wayne County judge will keep some owner-occupied properties out of tax foreclosure for the next year. Judge Timothy Kenny agreed to extend the redemption period through March 31, 2023, due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of federal funds. The order does not apply to property owners with tax debt in 2016 or prior years.
For the full story in The Detroit News, click the link below.
March 23, 2022
The March 31 deadline for Wayne County residents to avoid foreclosure is fast approaching. People with property tax debt from 2019 or prior years have until the end of the month to pay off their back taxes or enter into a payment plan with the Treasurer’s office before their property goes to auction in the fall.
For the full story from the Detroit Free Press, click the link below.
March 15, 2022
UCHC executive director Ted Phillips recently spoke with WDET's Russ McNamara to discuss Wayne County's upcoming foreclosure deadline and the movement for a right to legal representation for low-income Detroiters who can't afford their own counsel.
To listen to the interview, click the link below.
March 14, 2022
“A disaster is headed for Wayne County," says the Freep's Nancy Kaffer, "but Eric Sabree can stop it. Sabree, the county treasurer, could ask a Wayne County Circuit Court judge to halt the tax foreclosures of more than 4,000 owner-occupied homes. … Sabree has asked the court to halt foreclosures before. He can do it again.”
For the full story, click the link below.
March 9, 2022
UCHC executive director Ted Phillips is filling in this week as guest curator of Outlier Media's weekly housing and real estate newsletter, "The Dig." Along with Ted's insightful editorial on Wayne County's upcoming March 31 property-tax foreclosure deadline, this week's issue also features a compelling interview with attorney Tonya Myers Phillips, who's working with local housing advocates to bring a “Right to Counsel” law to Detroit.
For the full story, click the link below.
Feb. 14, 2022
The new $243 million Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund aims to help Michiganders stay in their homes, including homeowners with land contracts, reports Bridge Detroit.
UCHC executive director Ted Phillips says he's hopeful the program will hit the ground running because many people could lose their homes if action isn't taken fairly quickly.
For the full story, click the link below.
Feb. 7, 2022
Last summer, heavy rain flooded thousands of basements in Detroit and the city was honest about what happened — the pumps just couldn’t keep up. On Monday, Mayor Mike Duggan announced a new effort to get into homes and install new equipment to keep basements dry.
To watch the video report from Channel 4, click the link below.
Feb. 7, 2022
Amid a national housing crisis, giant private equity firms have been buying up apartment buildings en masse to squeeze them for profit, with the help of government-backed Freddie Mac. Meanwhile tenants say they’re the ones paying the price.
To read the full story from ProPublica, click the link below:
Jan. 28, 2022
The Wayne County Treasurer's Office is expected to resume all tax foreclosures this year, and taxpayers are encouraged to get on a payment plan before March 14 if needed.
"This year, we're foreclosing," says Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree. "We're not making any special category on what we're not going to do. Everything that's scheduled for foreclosure is on schedule for foreclosure."
To read the full story in the Detroit Free Press, click the link below:
June 8, 2020
"Local housing supporters expect Detroit’s 36th District Court to face an influx of eviction notices when the governor’s order prohibiting evictions ends this week. Less than half of city residents own their home and many households are financially unstable given the number of job losses due to the coronavirus pandemic."
Senate Dems / April 6, 2020
“As we all hear that the coronavirus is particularly fatal for seniors, it is often the low-income seniors — the most vulnerable of the senior population, living in multiple dwelling units — that are left to fend for themselves,” said Claudia Sanford, Director of Tenant Organizing for the United Community Housing Coalition and Chair of Senior Housing Preservation-Detroit. “Staying at home is not always possible and social distancing in buildings of more than 200 seniors and disabled individuals with only two elevators is not possible. The donation of surgical masks to the United Community Housing Coalition for distribution will make it possible for low-income seniors to have a better chance at survival during this crisis. This is the kind of help and leadership that is needed during a pandemic.”
Yahoo! Fiance / April 3, 2020
"In mid-March, Quicken Loans Community Fund (QLCF) and the Gilbert Family Foundation committed $1.2 million to address local COVID-19 impacts — including $500,000 to the United Way, $250,000 to the United Community Housing Coalition to address housing effects, and $450,000 to float small businesses."
MetroTimes / March 24, 2020
"Last week, the Wayne County Treasurer announced a total moratorium on tax foreclosures for the year 2020 due to the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Suddenly, the pressure was off for over 12,000 properties, including 8,000 occupied homes in Detroit that were likely to be foreclosed this year."
Bridge MI / March 21, 2020
"United Community Housing Coalition is helping answer questions regarding a landlord-tenant or other eviction matter in Detroit. If you need assistance call (313) 355-3352 or email UCHC at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Curbed Detroit / March 16, 2020
"Renter-occupied households now make up about 44 percent of living spaces in Detroit, according to a December 2019 estimate by the apartment listing site RentCafé. In an even more dramatic finding, a Detroit Future City study found that around 2017 the number of renters actually surpassed the number of homeowners in Detroit for the first time since 1950."
Michigan News / March 9, 2020
"The work that I do with Poverty Solutions is done closely with Detroit’s United Community Housing Coalition, where we focus on applied housing policy research and program evaluation. In some form, all of my current work revolves around the injustice of property tax foreclosures in the city of Detroit. In 2017, I worked with both Poverty Solutions and the United Community Housing Coalition on a project that examined Detroit’s Poverty Tax Exemption, a program that exempts residents with low incomes from their property tax obligation. We found that 40,000 people were eligible for the program, and only about 4,000 were receiving it."
Curbed Detroit / March 9, 2020
“Here’s the problem: rents in the city continue to rise, which means these deals get harder to make every year because the incentives to remove low-income folks get more profitable,” Duggan said at a press conference announcing the partnership. “We said, ‘To save [more affordable units], we need a little help.’”
Rebusiness Online / March 10, 2020
"Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and his Housing & Revitalization Department (HRD) have created a new partnership to preserve affordable housing in the city while also improving its quality and preventing displacement. The partnership comprises the city’s housing department along with a number of housing experts, including Enterprise Community Partners, United Community Housing Coalition, a partnership between Cinnaire and CHN Housing Partners, Data Driven Detroit, Elevate Energy and Community Investment Corp. Enterprise Community Partners will lead the team and create action plans for preserving units."
DS News / March 3, 2020
"“This year we set out to increase the number of Detroit families assisted through HPTAP, and I am proud of our work in collaboration with Quicken Loans Community Fund, United Community Housing Coalition, and community groups to meet this goal,” said Detroit Chief Financial Officer David Massaron with the announcement of the HPTAP program expansion."
National Mortgage Professional Magazine / February 28, 2020
"The Quicken Loans Community Fund, City of Detroit and United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) announced that 557 properties entered into Detroit’s Make It Home program during 2019, bringing the program’s total to 1,157 families were able to avoid tax-foreclosure related displacement. The Make It Home program launched in 2017."
Click on Detroit / October 23, 2019
"'This is a problem that is going on across the city unfortunately,' said Claudia Sanford, with the UCHC. 'When we came here, the building was in horrible disrepair. The doors were not secured or locked. Having a fire when the building isn't secure is not surprising.'"
Deadline Detroit / October 13, 2019
“We view helping people who are losing their homes as a bailout ... but what is ultimately happening when we demolish occupied houses is we're bailing out bad government,” said Michele Oberholtzer, director of Tax Foreclosure Prevention at United Community Housing Coalition. “We need to save these precious things rather than waiting for the convenience of vacancy to write a check to a contractor, which will not benefit anyone [but the contractor].”
Click on Detroit / October 9, 2019
"Draft legislation for the “Pay as You Stay” (PAYS) plan, expected to be introduced this week by Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit), would help approximately 31,000 Detroit homeowners stay in their homes by dramatically reducing the amount they owe on their back taxes and lowering their monthly payments, according to the city."
Model D / August 13, 2019
"Ten organizations have been announced as recipients of $1,714,500 in grants from the Hudson-Webber Foundation.
... Additional organizations to receive grants include the Public Rights Project, Eastern Market Partnership, and Detroit Regional Partnership, in the Community and Economic Development category; Midtown Detroit, Inc. and United Community Housing Coalition in the Built Environment category; and, in the Policy and Research category, the Council of Michigan Foundations.
Detroit Metro Times / August 13, 2019
“The person who lives in the home is likely to be the one who cares about it,” Michele Oberholtzer, director of the Tax Foreclosure Prevention Project at United Community Housing Coalition, told Curbed. “And if they have homeownership interest, then the interest of the occupant can align with the interest of the home.”
Curbed Detroit / August 12, 2019
“The person who lives in the home is likely to be the one who cares about it,” says Michele Oberholtzer, director of the Tax Foreclosure Prevention Project at United Community Housing Coalition. “And if they have homeownership interest, then the interest of the occupant can align with the interest of the home.”
Click on Detroit.com / June 17, 2019
"13th Annual Summer Solstice Event |Saturday, June 22nd from 6:30-8:30 pm | In the courtyard of the Kerrytown Market & Shops, join Everyday Wines to celebrate the solstice and raise money for the United Community Housing Coalition. Mingle, network, and taste finger-foods while sipping wine. Tickets for the event cost $25 and include four wine pours."
Michigan Radio / April 16, 2019
"Ted Phillips...that eviction cases tend to move through the legal system fast. Without an attorney, tenants may end up with a hearing that only lasts around a minute.
'It’s very difficult to get your rights heard when you’re in a situation like that. Everybody’s moving quickly [and] having an attorney gives you a chance to step back, look at the legal issues, and try to get things resolved,' Phillips explained."
EfficientGov / March 29, 2019
"Often, occupants do not realize their landlords had failed to pay property taxes and that the homes were to be foreclosed. In the first year of the program, 63 residents took possession of the deeds to their homes through the program, and others are on payment plans working to get the deed, which is held by the non-profit United Community Housing Coalition."
WDET / March 27, 2019
"United Community Housing Coalition is one of the groups at the forefront of both of those issues [housing insecurity, evictions, lack of representation, poverty]. Executive Director Ted Phillips and Michele Oberholtzer, director of the group's tax foreclosure prevention project, join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson."
Detour Detroit / March 25, 2019
"Imagine if half the time a person was charged with a crime they went straight to prison without consulting a lawyer or going to court. Not because they were guilty ' but because the system was so stacked against them it didn't seem worth fighting the case, or they didn't even know they could."
Crain's Detroit Business / March 25, 2019
"It caused controversy last year when the Detroit Free Press first revealed in October that residents of the 13-story building were given 30-day eviction notices. The newspaper also reported that the city is using $400,000, which includes $350,000 for the nonprofit United Community Housing Coalition, to help the vacating residents of the 180-room building."
Deadline Detroit / March 13, 2019
"The idea was presented Tuesday at a "Detroit Eviction Right To Counsel Summit" that included city leaders. Housing advocates estimate that just five percent of renters whose cases are heard in court are represented. There are more than 30,000 eviction cases in the city each year."
The Detroit News / March 12, 2019
"The summit's sponsors included more than 20 organizations, including the State Bar of Michigan, the ACLU of Michigan, several Michigan law schools and Ford Motor Co., organizers said. "This is huge," said Ted Phillips, executive director of the United Community Housing Coalition, which represents tenants in courts. "When people aren't represented, they are evicted. We can't possibly keep up."
The Detroit News / February 27, 2019
"For Powers-McCoy, her family's new furnishings, tailored for each family member's personality, arrived just days after she got the deed to her home. She secured a loan from the United Community Housing Coalition and bought the house from the city of Detroit. Powers-McCoy's 2-year-old daughter died nine years ago,and she struggled after the last home she rented went into foreclosure. Now, "she is in the process of getting her GED and aspires to go to nursing school," said Watts."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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 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."
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."
WDET / November 27, 2017
"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."
Detroit Free Press / October 31, 2017
"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."
Michigan Chronicle / October 30, 2017
"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."
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."
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."
Michigan Radio / July 6, 2017
"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.'"
Workers World / June 26, 2017
"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."
MetroTimes / June 14, 2017
"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."
WDET News / June 7, 2017
"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."
C&G News / May 31, 2017
"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."
Metro Times / May 24, 2017
"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."
Michigan Radio / May 15, 2017
"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."
Fox 2 News / March 7, 2017
"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."
Yes! Magazine / December 26, 2016
"There are several reasons why Detroit faces such high rates of tax foreclosure. Detroit buildings have been overassessed using outdated property values, resulting in excessively high tax bills. In addition, though the city offers a poverty exemption based on income, many are unaware of the tax break or have difficulty obtaining it. Furthermore, with some properties selling for as little as $1,000, the Detroit housing market attracts unscrupulous investors who purchase homes, milk tenants for rent, then simply walk away from their properties. ... There have been various efforts to respond to this crisis, with groups like the United Community Housing Coalition buying some houses and deeding them back to the original families."
Michigan Radio / December 8, 2016
"(We) make sure that if there are ways to get out of foreclosure, there are various kinds of payment plans and what have you, we work with them to do that. We try to work with them so they're not throwing money away. And what I mean by that is if somebody owes seven, eight, nine thousand dollars worth of taxes, they have no business paying two or three thousand (dollars) and losing the house anyway. So, we try common sense kind of stuff," Phillips explained."
Michigan Radio / December 7, 2016
“Very often the common scenario that we see is that somebody comes in for tax foreclosure, they should have been getting it (poverty exemption) forever, for that matter, you know, they’re 70 years old, their income hasn’t changed in years, but they didn’t know about it and they first time they hear about it is when they’re in foreclosure and about to lose their house,” Phillips said.
Crain's Detroit Business / October 16, 2016
"But Ted Phillips says otherwise. He and others say the law boots home occupants to the streets while failing to prevent buyers like Karr from purchasing more properties. The entire regulatory framework needs to be scrapped and rewritten, said the longtime executive director of the nonprofit United Community Housing Coalition."
Metrotimes / May 4, 2016
"I don't need somebody coming in and saving me, and it's really incredibly offensive to say so," Phillips says. "But it's doubly offensive when people act like they're there to repopulate the city ... but what they're doing is really just another way to make a killing off Detroit."
Channel 7, WXYZ.com / February 16, 2016
"According to the city heat is finally back on in all units at the Atrium Apartments, but now the question is: What are tenants rights, if they want to move out? 'They want to make sure that they have documented their complaints and they can show the landlord breached, not them,' says Ted Phillips, Executive Director and Attorney for United Community Housing Coalition in Detroit."
The Huffington Post / November 3, 2015
"The Tricycle Collective partnered with United Community Housing Coalition, which conducted the bidding, and won homes for 18 of the 31 families. Among other anti-foreclosure work over the last few decades, UCHC has bid on homes for families since 2010 and won 1,600 overall."
Michigan Radio / October 23, 2015
"Ted Phillips, director of the United Community Housing Coalition in Detroit, says tens of thousands more properties that went into foreclosure avoided going to auction. In part, that's because state lawmakers made changes that allowed more struggling homeowners to get on payment plans, in some cases cutting the amount of back taxes owed and offering reduced interest rates. "Nevertheless, there still appears to have been 3500 or so homeowner-occupied homes in Detroit, and a few thousand others that were tenant-occupied, that ended up going to auction sale," said Phillips."
The Detroit News / October 22, 2015
"Applying to succeed Wojtowicz are... A panel of three officials ' Clerk Cathy Garrett, Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Chief Probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. ' is expected to appoint an interim treasurer by next month. The post pays about $116,000. "We need someone who can strike a balance between collection taxes and taking property," said Ted Phillips, director of the United Community Housing Coalition, a nonprofit that works to help poor residents keep their homes."
Al-Jazeera America / October 6, 2015
"The coalition counsels thousands of people on how to get into the payment plans the county offers in order to help them stay in their homes. It does more of this kind of work than any other organization in Detroit. "These are people who lost their homes because they were poor or they were grossly overassessed or they were unaware that they could have gotten their taxes completely waived," says Phillips, referring to property tax exemption the city offers to people who live below the poverty line."
The Detroit Free Press / August 15, 2015
"Once Clark became her lawyer, even though she'd missed the deadline, he tried again. In January 2014, Clark appealed to Trott & Trott, and to the firm's client Fannie Mae, to sell Whitfield the house. To fund the deal, he enlisted the United Community Housing Coalition, a Detroit-based nonprofit organization, which agreed to pool its funds with Whitfield's money to make an offer on her behalf of $8,850, amounting to 95% of the $9,000 appraisal. There was no response, Clark said."
Bloomberg News /March 11, 2015
"Buyers like Gresham rarely get the help 'most middle-income people get," said Ted Phillips, executive director of United Community Housing Coalition, which advocates on behalf of delinquent homeowners. "They don't have an attorney, they don't have a Realtor, they don't have a title company," Phillips said. "They believe the handshake. They believe the house is perfect and doesn't have back taxes. As a result, they may be in foreclosure three days after they buy the house."
The Atlantic / October 22, 2014
"Ted Phillips, the director of the United Community Housing Coalition in downtown Detroit, has been leading the charge to inform people about their options once their houses have been foreclosed on. If they aren't granted an extension or put on a payment plan, the coalition will do its best to bid on their homes. Phillips says he and his team of seven will be cramming round a conference table this week, seeking to buy back around 500 houses at an estimated average price of $1,250. When a wave of foreclosures hit the city a decade ago, the United Community Housing Coalition was able to prevent most evictions, but there are too many foreclosures now for the organization to fight all of them."
The New York Times / June 26, 2014
"Ted Phillips, the executive director of the United Community Housing Coalition, where a worn office is regularly crowded with families in search of a last-ditch way to save their homes, has watched their numbers swell. "If we don't make some changes with what we're doing, I don't know where this ends." Mr. Phillips said."
International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) / March 19, 2010
"Ted Phillips, executive director of United Community Housing Coalition, is scheduled to testify this Saturday in Detroit at the Citizens Inquiry into the Dexter Avenue Fire.
Phillips, an attorney who specializes in real estate law, said the organization does a lot of work advocating for residents with landlord problems, including those facing evictions. He said that many of the people he sees also have problems with their utility bills.
When we raised with him the problems faced by Sylvia Young, the mother who lost three children in a house fire in Detroit on March 2, or the Allen brothers who died in a fire on Dexter Avenue, he said, 'We see this all the time. People just don’t have the money to pay.' Phillips added that DTE doesn’t give people with shut-off utilities much of a break."
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