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Tackling Foreclosure Challenges in Motor City

According to a recent study from Quicken Loans, property tax foreclosures in Detroit are at a 14-year low. In 2018, 2,920 properties faced property tax foreclosure auction, down from 6,052 in 2017, and far below the peak of 15,000 in 2015.

According to the Quicken Loans, the efforts of the Quicken Loans Community Fund and its Neighbor to Neighbor partners led to 4,136 occupied homes being pulled from the Wayne County tax foreclosure auction.

“Tens of thousands of Detroit residents have been displaced by property tax foreclosure, and on top of the human impact, many of these homes fall into disrepair and become blighted, perpetuating a harmful cycle that destroys vibrant communities,” said Laura Grannemann, VP of Strategic Investments for the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “By working with community partners, we are stabilizing housing in Detroit, preventing future blight and helping homeowners and occupants find sustainable, long-term solutions for their property tax burdens.”

Quicken Loans states that, as of last year, 21% of homeowners were unaware their property was behind on property taxes, and another 61% of renters in tax-delinquent properties were unaware of the home’s tax status.

“As Detroit comes back, we need to do everything we can to make sure those who stayed in our city through good times and bad are able to stay in their homes,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “We are seeing real progress in tax foreclosure reductions that impact all of our neighborhoods, and through programs like Neighbor to Neighbor, we will continue this important work in close partnership with the community.”

“Today, through the work of our community partners and the many canvassers going door to door, we have helped 300 residents not only prevent foreclosure, but move from renting to becoming homeowners, who now hold equity in their neighborhood,” Duggan continued. “As Detroit comes back, we need to do everything in our power to retain residents and keep them in their homes.”

Although outreach programs have helped improve Detroit's tax foreclosure issues, the city still faces other foreclosure-related challenges. According to GOBankingRates and data from Zillow, 34.4% of homes are currently underwater, and the median home value at the Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metro-area level is $161,300, far below the national median of $226,300. GOBankingRates puts Detroit second on its list of U.S. cities most likely to enter a housing crisis.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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