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Info Action Brief

Looking to dive deeper? These links will take you to summaries of research, best practices, and resources about key topics related to housing in Detroit.

What do we know about tax foreclosures and evictions in Detroit?

Tax foreclosure and other forms of housing displacement are very serious issues in Detroit. The scope of the problem can be quite daunting and understanding the nuances challenging. These resources can be used to learn about this topic and access several resources for Detroit homeowners and renters facing displacement.

Tax foreclosures occur after a property owner does not pay property taxes for four years. At this point, the government seizes the property, evicts any residents, and auctions off the property to make up the delinquent taxes.

Tax Foreclosures and Evictions by the Numbers

Since 2002, when Wayne County started auctioning off tax foreclosed properties, 90% of all tax auction purchases have been to investors, many of whom buy in bulk.

Around $34 million was spent by the City of Detroit to demolish houses purchased by speculators in the tax foreclosure auction.

On average between 2012 and 2016, each year nearly 35,000 owner-occupied households (28.2% of the city’s homeowners) met income eligibility guidelines for a full exemption from property taxes, while an additional 4,220 qualified for a partial exemption. However, only 4,645 homeowners applied in 2016—just 11.9% of those eligible.

More than 1 in 6 children born in large U.S. cities experience eviction by age 15.

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