Detroit Today: Why Detroit is providing low-income residents facing eviction with lawyers

Right to Counsel provides free legal representation to low-income residents facing eviction.

Photo of the 36th District Court in Detroit, Michigan.

In May of last year, Detroit City Council committed to providing low-income residents facing eviction with legal representation.

Between January 2019 to June 2022, only one in five tenants in Detroit had full legal representation according to a report published by University of Michigan Poverty Solutions. The study also noted that landlords were four times as likely to have attorneys representing them.

Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield joined Detroit Today to discuss the new implementation of Detroit’s Right to Counsel initiative.

Listen: Why Detroit is providing low-income residents facing eviction with lawyers


Mary Sheffield is Detroit City Council President. Sheffield says that council is working to make sure low-income tenants have legal defense against evictions, and also equip residents to improve their financial situation.

“We want to empower those who may be low-income with a way to sustain but also with a way to come up and come out of poverty,” says Sheffield.

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.