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Report: More than 25,000 eviction cases filed in Detroit during the pandemic

person with head in hands looking at eviction notice
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Detroit residents and advocates have been showing up to city council meetings regularly to talk about evictions.

Advocates are calling for more low-income housing, with homes available for $500 a month or less.

Some evicted tenants have been living in hotels paid for by COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) funding that is ending on June 30.

The CERA-funded hoteling program served 276 households. There are 73 households still in hotels, with an additional 23 that have housing identified, according to Detroit housing officials.

The remaining households staying in the hotels will be funded through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Their exit dates from the hotel vary, but this program is a temporary solution.

Many people in those households say they're having trouble finding somewhere affordable to live.

Jai Kaiser is staying in a hotel and has been told she can stay until September. She said when she was evicted earlier this year, she lost all of her belongings, in addition to her home.

"The mental space we’re in of not knowing is very detrimental, you know what I’m saying? And to be honest, it’s not really lightened, because we have a deadline, I have somewhere to sleep but I still don’t have a home," she said.

There were 25,500 eviction cases filed in Detroit between March 2020 and March 2022, according to a reportfrom the University of Michigan.

Nearly 90% of those cases were from landlords whose properties were not in compliance with a city ordinance.

"The city of Detroit’s rental ordinance requires landlords to register their properties and obtain a certificate of compliance before they can rent out their properties. As of March, data from the city of Detroit’s Open Data Portal indicated that just 6% of Detroit’s rental properties had a certificate of compliance," the report noted.

Taura Brown said she's facing eviction right now. She doesn't know where she'll go or what options she has if she's evicted. She said Detroit doesn't have many options she can afford.

"Low-income housing and affordable housing are two different things," Brown said. "It’s 'affordable,' which means you still can’t afford it."

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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