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How to apply for Detroit's 2022 property tax relief program

An abandoned home in Detroit
Kate Davidson
Michigan Radio

Detroit homeowners who are struggling to pay property taxes have until December 12 to apply for a partial or full property tax exemption.

The program is meant to help low-income residents avoid foreclosure.

The poverty exemption is based on a household’s income. If approved, residents can get between 10% and 100% off their property taxes.

A family of four could get a full tax exemption if the family made less than $27,560 a year.

The program is called HOPE, for "Home-owners Property Exemption."

Willie Donwell, the director of the city’s property assessment board, said the program serves a purpose beyond helping individual families. "We need to stabilize home ownership in the city of Detroit. So many people are struggling for a number of reasons," he said. "If a person is struggling with their property taxes, they're probably struggling with other things also."

Homeowners approved for the program may also qualify for the city’s Pay As You Stay (PAYS) Program, which helps people pay off back-owed tax debt.

The city says that more than 17,000 people have applied for the program this year and more than 10,000 applications have been approved.

Applicants will need to provide a deed or proof of homeownership, proof of residency, photo ID and proof of income for 2021.

Detroiters can apply for the program online or attend one of the city’s in-person signup events. Residents need to apply for the program annually.

The city and its nonprofit partners are hosting these in-person events, all in the City of Detroit:

December 5, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Patton Recreation Center
Woodmere St.

December 9, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Samaritan Center
5555 Conner St.

December 12, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
7310 Woodward Ave.

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.