A Go Fund Me campaign by Keep Our Homes Detroit has raised $99,069 of its $100K goal. The group aims to help Detroiters who've had homes foreclosed on keep their residences. The group is bidding on houses listed in Wayne County's annual tax auction, and has purchased ten of these to date, per their Go Fund Me site. According to organizers, their task is made more difficult by speculators. "Occupied homes are being pursued under the assumption that if someone is living in them they will be less money to fix up," the group explained.
The campaign continues, with some notably large donations. One anonymous donor gave $30K, while another, Joy Sabl, gave $10K. According to the website, the group, which is working with the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), will use funds they raise to buy occupied homes in the tax auction so that the owners can stay. The tax auction's rules bar homeowners from bidding on their own foreclosed properties out of fear this will lead to and endless cycle of property tax avoidance. Save our Homes hopes to avoid that problem by using funds beyond purchase costs for 2015 taxes and for home repair.
Keep Our Homes posted a video of Jerry Gerardo, a 45-year-old disabled former autoworker and one of the homeowners they hope to help:
Given the incredibly high interest rate tacked on to back taxes—a staggering 18%—it's easy to see how families fall behind and never catch up. This year, 8000 occupied homes are on the county auction block are occupied, though the county was able to reach agreement with owners of some 22,000 occupied homes who avoided foreclosure by entering into payment plans. There are other sources of relief for the poorest homeowners. According Citylab, if people meet income and home value requirements, they're eligible for up to 100 percent property tax exemption.
·Evictions Loom as Tax Auction Heads into Final Days [Curbed Detroit]
·All Wayne County Tax Auction Coverage [Curbed Detroit]
·Programs for Homeowners [United Community Housing Coalition]
·Keep Our Homes [Go Fund Me]