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].”
Detroit Free Press / October 9, 2019
"'We've been pushing for some sort of retro (poverty exemption) for a long time,' said Ted Phillips, executive director of the United Community Housing Coalition, a nonprofit that works directly with tax-delinquent Detroit homeowners."
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."
Detroit Free Press / September 30, 2019
"Sheffield has been working with the United Community Housing Coalition, Michigan Legal Services and other organizations to craft a plan that would service 20% of individuals facing evictions each year for the next five years at a cost of $4 million dollars."
Detroit Free Press / August 14, 2019
"Some of those property owners will get help before the auction from groups like the United Community Housing Coalition, a nonprofit that works to settle tax debt for struggling homeowners."
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.”
Michigan Radio / August 2, 2019
“The fact that you can use funds to tear down homes to eliminate blight, but you can’t use the same damn funds to help people stay in their home to prevent blight, is ridiculous,” Phillips said.
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."
Detroit has a massive eviction crisis. Here's how the city could keep renters from losing their homes.
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."
US House of Representatives Committee Repository / August 2, 2019
Testimony of Ted Phillips
Executive Director, United Community Housing Coalition
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."
Bridge Magazine, Detroit Journalism Cooperative / March 12, 2019
"In 36th District Court, which serves Detroit, there are so many evictions that four separate courtrooms are dedicated to them. Judges can process hundreds of evictions before lunch."
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."
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."
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, NAACP Legal Defense Fund Settle Tax Foreclosure Case, Enabling Low-Income Detroiters in Foreclosure to Keep Their Homes for $1,000
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."
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."
Vice News / December 7, 2017
"In the last 15 years, one in three Detroit properties have been foreclosed on. When most people think of foreclosure, they think of people who can't afford to pay off their mortgages."
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."
ModelD / November 7, 2017
"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."
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 Radio / October 31, 2017
"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."
Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund launches "Neighbor to Neighbor" campaign to connect residents with tax foreclosure resources
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."
MetroTimes / October 27, 2017
"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."
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."
As the tax foreclosures system gives Wayne County a short-term financial boost, is there incentive for an overhaul?