A new map from Loveland paints a shocking and grim picture of the tax foreclosure crisis in Detroit. We see thousands of houses go up for bid in the Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction every fall; this map shows 143,958 tax foreclosures that have gone to auction over the last 15 years, not counting the 8,000 that will head for auction this year.
That’s over a third of the properties in Detroit. The vast majority have gone to auction since the 2008 financial crisis.
After canvasing many homes that have gone up for auction in the past few years, co-founder and CEO of Loveland Technologies Jerry Paffendorf states in an op-ed in the Free Press that out of the occupied homes, “...we can safely say about half of them are renters who aren’t responsible for paying taxes, about a third are owners who’ve fallen on hard times, and the rest are a long tail of family members of deceased former owners, scam land contracts and other situations.”
The op-ed states that during the visits, they ask occupants what their relationship is to the home and if they’re interested in becoming homeowners.
Paffendorf offers a “grand bargain” type program to match occupants interested in becoming homeowners with buyback programs run through local housing organizations.