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Program helps Detroiters facing displacement become homeowners

Detroit skyline
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
Detroit skyline

Nearly 240 Detroiters have become homeowners this year thanks to a new program. It allows residents living in foreclosed homes to purchase that house before it goes to public auction.

The Make it Home Program allows renters living in those foreclosed homes to buy the houses with a 0% interest land contract and a payment plan.

Officials said residents pay an average of less than $10,000 to become a homeowner through this program.

Laura Grannemann is the vice president of the Rocket Community Fund.

"Every single renter whose landlord isn't paying their property taxes should have the first right to purchase that property. And I'm so proud today to say that over 1,300 families are now homeowners, despite a system that causes so much turmoil across our community," she said.

City officials said those families would otherwise have been displaced.

Detroit had been a majority-renter city for years. That's now changed.

"This year, we're above 50% homeownership. And it wasn't by accident," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "It's been a hard work on programs like these that are taking Detroiters who stayed, who were making their payments every month and turning them into homeowners."

A recent reportfrom the University of Michigan's Poverty Solutions said since 2017, Make It Home resulted in sustained homeownership for 85% of participants.

Briana Rice is Michigan Public's criminal justice reporter. She's focused on what Detroiters need to feel safe and whether they're getting it.
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