By: UCHC Staff
Published: July 14, 2023
Housing news you can use
Starting July 31, Detroit’s 36th District Court will once again allow virtual hearings in eviction cases — but only for the first hearings. Subsequent hearings will continue to take place in person. The announcement comes a month after the court resumed in-person eviction hearings to address an influx of filings. Housing advocates say that requiring in-person hearings could lead to more default judgments against tenants, at a time when evictions are already increasing. The move would make it difficult for attorneys representing low-income Detroiters to provide the free legal aid they're required to offer under the city's Right to Counsel ordinance. (Detroit Free Press)
Detroit’s high property-tax rates may soon be coming down. Mayor Mike Duggan says a split-rate property tax could change Detroit’s high taxation rates, lowering the burden for homeowners. Duggan says the City’s new Land Value Tax Plan could provide tax relief to homeowners and most businesses by increasing tax rates on vacant and blighted properties. City of Detroit CFO Jay Rising joined WDET’s Stephen Henderson Thursday morning to discuss the potential impacts the plan could have on Detroiters. (WDET)
Legal aid programs struggle to meet high demand: When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, legal-aid providers took on more housing-related cases. That's likely because of an influx of funding to keep people in their homes as they faced economic uncertainty. The dollars that poured in illustrated what it takes to try and fully meet the need — at least for evictions. "We were able to help most of the people who came to us and maybe not in the most extensive way, but really to make a difference and to give people the tools that they needed," says Ashley Lowe, CEO of Lakeshore Legal Aid. (Detroit Free Press)
At UCHC, we believe that housing is a human right, and we know you do, too. Your generous support helps us keep our low-income neighbors safe and secure in their homes throughout the year. To help support UCHC, click here.