How’s Detroit’s Housing Landscape Doing?

“Wayne County is unfortunately the leading entity dealing with this problem,” says Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree.

Jake Neher/WDET

There are plenty of questions about how Detroit is doing with housing in 2017. Are people paying their property taxes? How are the thousands of tax foreclosures at the county level affecting the city’s efforts? How is the city doing at reducing blight — are the home demolitions keeping up with newly abandoned or foreclosed houses?

As part of WDET’s work with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, Detroit Today Host Stephen Henderson discusses the issue from a city and county level.

Wayne County Treasurer, Eric Sabree, talks with Henderson about the county’s response to housing foreclosures.

“Wayne county is unfortunately the leading entity dealing with this problem,” says Sabree, “because of the fact that the foreclosures are so severe… This discussion really can’t be a complete discussion unless we’re talking about education, job training, and jobs… It’s a poverty issue.”

Sabree also discusses strategies the county and city have implemented to inform residents of their options to avoid foreclosure as well as potential alternatives to the current auction system.

Laura Weber Davis/WDET

Henderson continues the conversation with Arthur Jemison, director of housing and revitalization for the City of Detroit, to discuss Detroit’s current housing situation.

“Frankly I think we’re starting to see reductions in just the raw tally of foreclosures,” Jemison says, “and I think it has a lot to do with… going door to door, hosting the sessions that give people information about how to prevent foreclosure… We need every Detroiter to stay here with us.”  

Mike Wilkinson, reporter for Bridge Magazine, and Sandra Svoboda, reporter for WDET also discuss their recent reporting on these issues as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Wilkinson talks about a recent story in Bridge titled, “Sorry we foreclosed your home. But thanks for fixing our budget.” The story was written in collaboration with the WDET story, “Is the Tax Foreclosure Process Good for Wayne County but Bad for Detroit?”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation. 



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