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Our mission is to help low-income residents stay in their homes and strengthen their communities, through representation, support, and ownership.

United Community Housing Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing housing assistance to Detroit’s low-income residents. Since 1973, we have worked to keep people in their homes and secure affordable housing for those in need.

We believe that having a place to live is a basic human right, and are passionate about preserving this right in our communities. Our services are provided to income-eligible families and individuals free of charge.

UCHC’s vision and mission reflect our fundamental belief that housing is a human right and that, with respect to housing, low-income Detroiters deserve fairness, justice, and inclusivity. 

Our strength comes from our diversity, and we celebrate the visible and invisible qualities that make each resident unique, including race, gender, age, sexuality, ability, religion, national origin, gender identity, and other identities. 

UCHC is committed to aligning our culture and business practices to be a beacon of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for all people.

Our Mission


Ted Phillips

Ted Phillips

Executive Director

Ted has been the Executive Director of UCHC since 1986, with the exception of two years with the Detroit Housing Commission. Previously, he worked as an attorney for the Legal Aid and Defender Landlord-Tenant Clinic from 1984 to 1985. Ted is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. He is a graduate of Cass Tech High School and Wayne State University undergraduate and law school. He majored in History and has been a licensed attorney since 1983.

Muriel ‘Bev’ Ealy

Muriel ‘Bev’ Ealy

Deputy Director

Bev has been employed with UCHC since 1981. She was originally hired as an Administrative Assistant and for two years served as Interim Director, after which she was elevated to the position of Deputy Director. Prior to her employment with UCHC, she was the Administrative Assistant at Michigan Legal Services for 10 years. Bev attended Alabama A&M College (now University) in Huntsville, Alabama, majoring in Business Administration.

Jolayne Thompson

Jolayne Thompson

Director of Operations

A graduate of Wayne State University with a bachelor's in Social Work, Jolayne Thompson has been UCHC's Chief Operating Officer since October 2021. Prior to that, she was our Finance Director (2013-2021) and a contractor assisting UCHC with grants management and oversight of our annual audit. Previously, Jolayne worked as Director of Administration & Finance for Shamrock Broadcasting radio properties in Detroit. She is Vice President and co-founder of The FACES Foundation.

Claudia Sanford

Claudia Sanford

Director of Tenant Organizing, Housing Placement, and Relocation

Claudia has been with UCHC for 12 years and worn many hats. She was originally employed as a housing placement counselor and assisted in the early days of UCHC's tax-foreclosure program, overseeing the direction and hiring staff for the 2009 Housing Preservation and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) programs and the ESG program. Claudia currently oversees Tenant Organizing, Housing Placement, and Relocation, which includes supervising a 4-year AmeriCorps VISTA tenant-organizing program.


Claudia was also one of the founders of the Senior Housing Preservation-Detroit (SHP-D) and is currently chair of that coalition. She has co-authored several papers on senior displacement and co-authored a chapter on "Forensic Social Work," published by Fordham University. In December 2018, Claudia received the "Best of the Health Net Award" from Authority Health in recognition of her extraordinary commitment and service to community health care. Claudia has a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art.

Tim Bishop

Tim Bishop

Director, Repair Services

Tim has been the Director of Repair Services at UCHC since 2018 and previously worked in the property preservation industry. He has over 30 years of experience in residential and commercial construction and was the owner and operator of multiple construction companies. He has also worked as real-estate agent and was a licensed builder. Tim is a graduate of Jefferson High School and a U.S. Army Veteran.

Eleanor Carey

Eleanor Carey

Director, Legal Support Services

Eleanor is the Director of the Legal Support Services department at UCHC. She has experience working at various non-profits in Metro Detroit, Philadelphia, and Ireland. Specifically in housing-related work, she has done street outreach to house people experiencing homeless, been a housing counselor after people were housed, and done tax foreclosure counseling. Eleanor was also the Deputy Finance Director and Operations Director for Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s re-election campaign before coming to UCHC. She got her B.A. at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia, and her Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation from Trinity College Dublin while living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a 5th generation Detroiter, Eleanor is passionate about seeing the city thrive, while centering inclusivity and equity in Detroit’s future growth. Outside of work, Eleanor is Chair of the Detroit Gaelic League Cultural Consortium and is Corresponding Secretary for the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus of the MDP.

Kim Stroud

Kim Stroud

Director, Homeownership Services

Kim has been the Director of Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention & Land Contract Support at UCHC since 2008 and also oversees title research and real-estate transactions for UCHC. She is HUD-certified in both Foreclosure Prevention and Financial Coaching, and is a licensed Associate Broker in real estate. Kim previously worked as a communications specialist for the Detroit City Council President, the ACLU of Michigan, the Neighborhood Information Exchange, and the Metropolitan Center for High Technology. Kim is a graduate of Oberlin College and holds a master's degreen in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.

Charlene Snow

Charlene Snow

Director, Legal Services

Charlene is UCHC's Director of Legal Services and also supervises the Housing Clinic that UCHC and Michigan Legal Services operate at 36th District Court. Prior to joining UCHC in 2008, she also worked in private practice and legal services. Charlene was co-counsel for women prisoners in two large class-action lawsuits; one in federal court and one in the Michigan Court of Claims. She also handled divorce, employment discrimination, unemployment cases, and other civil matters. Additionally, she is a facilitative mediator with both family law and general civil mediation credentials.

Charlene is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the ADR Section of the state bar. She is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and also a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan. She is also a board member of the Justice Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party and active in the 14th District of the MDP. Charlene has Bachelor of Arts from James Madison College at MichigN State University and a law degree from the University of Detroit.

Aj Fouts

Aj Fouts

Director, Data Analytics

Aj oversees the accuracy and wholeness of program and client data that UCHC collects, and her team is responsible for using this data to properly monitor client status and program outcomes. Her favorite aspect of this position is the opportunity to use the large amount of information UCHC has access to to attempt to answer pressing questions within the field of housing injustice. Aj has previously spent time in Yellow Springs, Ohio, as a Fellow at a Community Land Trust, while earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from Antioch College. Aj is a fan of trying new foods and taking walks and advocating for public transit any opportunity she gets.

Zina Thomas

Zina Thomas

Director, Homeowner Programs

A graduate of Central Michigan University, Zina has more than 25 years of housing experience as a real-estate agent, housing inspector, and mortgage broker. Zina joined UCHC in 2021 and works on land contract mortgages, home repair, and tax foreclosure prevention. Zina is dedicated to helping others, and she and her family have always been active in fighting for the rights of others.

Kathleen Blumberg

Kathleen Blumberg

Director, Finance

Kathleen is a graduate of Aquinas College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with two bachelor’s degrees: one in Accounting and the other in Business Management. She has dedicated her 36-year career to serving the Detroit not-for-profit community. Prior to joining UCHC, Kathleen was the CFO of the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (2022) and Director of Finance for Girl Scouts of Metro Detroit (2002-2007). She also worked as the Comptroller for Cornerstone Education Group (2019-2021) and was the Senior Director of Business Affairs for the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Wayne State University (2007-2019).

Our Team


Chairman Robert Shimkoski Jr.

Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation

Beverly Lemlé, Treasurer

Community Member

Kanika Bey

Community Member

Michelle Fallena

Old St. Mary's Catholic Church

Jacqueline Hand

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

Jelani Karamoko

Karamoko Group, PLC

Khalifa McZeal

Community Member

Katherine Ralston

Jefferson East Inc.

Brenda Thompson

Community Member

Vice Chair Cassandra Walker

Westside Mothers Welfare Rights Organization

Latanya Harris, Secretary

Community Member

Rebecca Cook

Community Member

Christina Guzman

Soluciones Onda Latina

Arthur Howard

Community Member

Cynthia McCreary

Community Member

David Palmer

Realty Experts

Cheryl Sanford

MUST Construction Careers

Kamer Zindani

Community Member

Our Board


We have been privileged to receive a number of grants and donations from corporations and partners. If you are interested in supporting us or receiving additional information about how you can help, please contact us.


We want to recognize and thank our existing partners, who are instrumental in helping us achieve our mission.

Our Partners
Our History



United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) was founded by a group of tenants in the Cass Corridor/Wayne State University area, who organized to save their historic apartment building from owner neglect, deterioration and blight. The core program focused on tenant organizing efforts in the corridor.


UCHC began legal representation on behalf of clients for landlord-tenant conflict resolution.


UCHC expanded its services to include counseling and relocation help for homeless families in need of suitable permanent rental housing. The housing placement work served about 1,000 people (450-500 households) annually with two HUD grants, until December 31, 2018. Those grants ended and were not renewed due to changing HUD priorities. Current placement work is limited to assisting households with a judgment to move, or if they are being displaced due to tax foreclosure or housing code violations that their landlord has failed to address.


Following changes in state tax laws in 1999, UCHC started its tax foreclosure prevention efforts to help owner and tenant occupants of properties in tax foreclosure.


UCHC added mortgage counselors and foreclosure defense attorneys to its staff, responding to the mortgage foreclosure crisis. This partnership with Michigan Legal Services (MLS) has also sought to face the challenge of predatory land contracts and has since modified that approach to include dealing with lending scams.


UCHC began working with homeowners to save properties from the October tax foreclosure auction conducted by the Wayne County Treasurer. The first year, UCHC purchased 147 homes for the (mostly homeowner) occupants of those homes in a pilot project with a small revolving loan pool of $80,000. Since then, with support from the Skillman Foundation, UWSEM, the Ford Foundation and others, UCHC has been able to provide purchase support for more than 3,000 homes.


UCHC started its Housing Defense Legal Clinic in the 36th District Court which now runs three days per week and includes an eviction diversion program twice a month. This work has since been expanded to include intervention in development projects that jeopardize the housing of low income residents. With support from the City of Detroit, UCHC helps impacted tenants with relocation.


UCHC and Michigan Legal Services partnered with the City of Detroit to create the Right of First Refusal program by exercising the city’s option to purchase foreclosed homes back from Wayne County before auction. With support from the Quicken Loans Community Fund, UCHC purchased 80 tenant-owned homes for the occupants and sold them to the occupants for cost. Prices ranged from $2,500 to $5,500 per home plus administrative costs.


The success of the 2017 pilot program allowed for UCHC to expand the program to purchase 520 tenant-owned homes with additional support from Quicken Loans Community Fund.


UCHC is in the process of implementing a repair program to address the needs of some of the 520 homes. These repairs address major needs such as roofing, furnaces, plumbing and electrical issues. This program assists new homeowners who are not eligible for traditional government sponsored repair programs.

Our Financials
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