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Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures- People’s Forum

Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures- People’s Forum

Event: Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures- People’s Forum

Over 100,000 Detroit Working Families lost their homes from 2009-2015 due to foreclosures caused by the City of Detroit assessing properties at rates that violate the Michigan Constitution. If you have been subject to tax foreclosures, or know someone who has, join us to share your story and help determine the Coalition’s Restorative Justice Strategy. 

Date: June 17, 2017

Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Place: Wayne State University Law School- Partrich Auditorium: 471 West Palmer, DetroitMI 48202

Parking: Free Parking Will Be Available in Lot 32, in front of the law school

More Information: For More information Visit http://illegalforeclosures.org/, or Email: illegalforeclosures.detroit@gmail.com.

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Development Watch: A busy week!

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Tonight! Monday March 20th, 5pm at Henry Ford Health System, Suite 1C00, please enter through the Third St. entrance.

The city is calling this meeting part of a “community benefits process.” These high-profile developments create the conditions for displacement of long term Detroiters.

 

  • Real Community Benefits are more than game tickets and basketball courts.
  • Real Community Benefits would address the conditions for displacement that this project will create.
  • Real Community Benefit Agreements are legally binding, NOT just meetings and more broken promises.


This meeting is what Community Benefits look like under the watered down wording of Proposal B that just barely passed over Proposal A. Nearly 100,000 people voted for Prop A, which would have created a legally binding agreement for this and other large scale development in Detroit. Proposal B was bogus last year at the ballot and now that it’s in place it’s still bad.

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Tuesday Evening, March 21st, 5:30pm at Henry Ford Health System, One Ford Place Room 3B25 (Parking available in the Third Street lot)

The City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA) is considering a proposed brownfield plan for the Detroit Pistons Corporate Headquarters and Practice Facility Campus Redevelopment. The eligible property consists of three (3) parcels located at 6201 Second Avenue and 690 Amsterdam, north of Amsterdam and between Second Avenue and Third Avenue in Detroit’s Midtown/New Center Area. All interested persons desiring to make public comments will be afforded an opportunity to be heard at the public hearing and are invited to provide written testimony or materials concerning the Brownfield Plan. Further information and a copy of the proposed Brownfield Plan may be obtained from the offices of the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, 500 Griswold, Suite 2200, and Detroit, MI 48226, (313) 483-4150. The public hearing and this notice have been authorized by the City of Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

 

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Wednesday the Gilbert-backed Corporate Welfare Bill Package is on the agenda in the Tax Policy Committee of the House. We will share more details soon.

Tax Policy Committee:
Jim Tedder
(R) Committee Chair, 43rd District
David Maturen
(R) Majority Vice-Chair, 63rd District
Martin Howrylak
(R) 41st District
Klint Kesto
(R) 39th District
Peter Lucido
(R) 36th District
Hank Vaupel
(R) 47th District
Steven Johnson
(R) 72nd District
Bronna Kahle
(R) 57th District
James Lower
(R) 70th District
Wendell Byrd
(D) Minority Vice-Chair, 3rd District
Sheldon Neeley
(D) 34th District
Jim Ellison
(D) 26th District
Abdullah Hammoud
(D) 15th District

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20 Minute Neighborhoods and you!

20 Minute Neighborhoods and you!

In May of 2016 Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan introduced the concept of the 20-Minute neighborhood as part of revitalization and development plans for the future of Detroit. The objective of the 20-Minute neighborhood is to create pedestrian and cyclist friendly communities where residents are able to meet their basic needs within a 20 minute walk or bike ride from their front door.

While not a new concept, similar plans have been implemented nationally including in the cities of Portland and Baltimore.

Mayor Duggan’s plan has at least one very Detroit specific metric:
20 minutes from Blight! One should not encounter blighted buildings, derelict streetscapes, nor crumbling infrastructure within a 20 minute walking radius.

In theory the concept of 20 minute neighborhoods appears positive:

  • They create higher density neighborhoods.
  • Reduce or eliminate the need for a car.
  • Lead to better community health outcomes and the reduction of negative environmental impacts.

However, there are real concerns about how existing residents of the targeted areas are included or excluded from the planning process.

  • Historically, mass development of “blighted areas” especially when tagged with a revitalization label, has led to mass scale push out of existing neighborhood residents.
  • As areas become more desirable, the rising rates of property costs make the goal of homeownership less accessible for the existing and often low income residents, as seen in the former Cass Corridor area.
  • In the case of Downtown Detroit as rental housing stock has gone into high demand, outright displacement of existing residents, primarily seniors, has occurred.

The current neighborhoods in some form of the planning or implementation phase of the 20-Minute Neighborhood are:

  • West Village
  • Southwest
  • Live6/Fitzgerald
  • Jefferson/Chalmers
  • West Grand Blvd.
  • The North End
  • Russell Woods/Nardin Park

While these areas are all in need of resource development, revitalization should not mean the removal of long-time members of these communities.

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Housing Crisis! Why Detroit needs a Housing Trust Fund

Housing Crisis! Why Detroit needs a Housing Trust Fund

The Problem

City government is executing a “revitalization” of Detroit that is actually based on mass removal of existing residents and incentivizing new residents and businesses to move in. This revitalization plan is based on selective investment and disinvestment. Specifically, the city has determined that most neighborhoods are no longer “viable” which is to say that these neighborhoods and the people who live there cannot be saved—the city government has said it cannot afford to meet their needs/fulfill its role.

Instead, several areas—mostly along key commercial corridors such as East Jefferson, Livernois & 6 Mile, West Grand Boulevard, Woodward, and Vernor—have been identified as “strategic areas” that will receive the bulk of new investment and improved city services (see “Toward Inclusive Growth,” Detroit Corridor Initiative, 2015). These strategic areas happen to be, on average, wealthier and whiter than those areas of Detroit that Detroit city government has decided to withhold investment in services from.  We are, once again, being asked to accept that there will be neighborhoods and residents that will win at the expense of the others, who will lose. We must tell our elected officials, at City Council sessions, in the mayor’s office, and in special committee hearings, as well as at the DEGC and Detroit Future City that this is neither necessary nor acceptable.

Our Commitment

We are asked to believe that there are no alternatives, and that the present prioritization of wealthy developers’ ability to make profit over residents’ ability to remain in Detroit, participate in governance, and receive decent services is not only inevitable but correct. We assert, however, that there are many alternatives, that we have the resources we need to see them succeed, and that we must protect and maintain current Detroiters’ rights to remain, reclaim, and rebuild Detroit in our own image and according to our neighborhoods’ needs. We will continue to organize for a Detroit that remains majority African American; that practices development without displacement; that facilitates community control of land and permanently affordable housing; and that is governed by its people and for the benefit of all of its people, especially those with the greatest need. Detroit is not a merely a geopolitical entity—it is a people, a culture, and a history. It cannot and does not deserve to move forward without those who have labored and planted our lives here.

A Solution – Establish a Housing Trust Fund

We support and are organizing around the establishment of a fully funded housing trust fund with dedicated revenue for the creation, preservation, or operations of perm   anently affordable housing for those making 30% AMI or below ($20,070 or less for a family of four). Why that income bracket? Because one in three (33% of) Detroiters are members of households who make $20,070 or less each year and because this group has fewer affordable housing options than any other group in Detroit, and is also larger than any other group (representing 40,000 households) in Detroit (See Detroit Inclusionary Housing Plan & Market Study: Preliminary Inclusionary Housing Feasibility Study, August 2016, HR&A).

While we are committed to improving all Detroiters’ economic situation through equitable employment and redistribution of wealth, we know that for the time being, there are 40,000 families who cannot wait for city leaders to create a better economic situation. Families need affordable housing right now. This new housing needs to be permanently affordable because we know that there will always be a need for affordable housing. Equity and long term economic success are undermined by dwindling affordable housing or the ‘flipping’ of affordable units to market-rate.

A housing trust fund can be a mechanism to grow the pie for everyone’s benefit, so the city gets more revenue (perhaps through a real estate transfer tax) and can better address the affordable housing crisis that threatens thousands of women and children. It is the city’s responsibility to find more revenue for Detroit’s most housing-insecure residents and a housing trust fund is a tool that they need.