Thurs., April 16
State of Michigan Bldg, Cadillac Place, Detroit
(West Grand Blvd. between Cass & 2nd) map
Demand the State release $ 251 Million of federal “Helping Hardest Hit” funds to stop tax foreclosures.
Starting in 2010, the State of Michigan received $498 million in federal Helping Hardest Hit Homeowner funds. According to the Step Forward website, the purpose for the funds is “to help Michigan take a step forward through a comprehensive, statewide strategy that is aimed to help homeowners who are at high risk of default or foreclosure.”
Despite Michigan leading most states of the U.S. in foreclosures that have especially devastated Michigan’s predominantly African American cities like Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac, etc., according to the most recent Treasury report, in five years the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) only spent $188 million of the $498 million in Helping Hardest Hit fund to aid homeowners, with an additional $23 million spent on blight removal and $26 million spent on “administrative expenses”. This is a direct result of bureaucratic obstacles set up to deny the neediest homeowners help they deserve, as a result of just plain callousness and incompetency by the Snyder and Granholm administrations.
Today, despite the worst tax foreclosure crisis in the history of the U.S., threatening to push tens of thousands of families out of their homes, and the fact that $251 million in Helping Hardest Hit funds is available to avert this disaster and save our communities, the State has decided to virtually completely stop assisting homeowners. Instead, they plan on using the Hardest Hit Funds to tear down homes, not save the families in them. In its most recent report, the State of Michigan announced that of the $251 million remaining Hardest Hit funds, $153 million are to be used for “blight removal”, an additional $20 million to pay the bureaucrats. Only $79 million is to help homeowners facing foreclosure, with a paltry $32 million to help pay delinquent property tax bills and $47 million earmarked for assistance to unemployed homeowners.
Not only is the State’s plan for using the remaining Helping Hardest Hit funds illegal and morally bankrupt in light of the tax foreclosure disaster facing Wayne County, it defies logic and common sense. If Helping Hardest Hit funds were used to pay delinquent property taxes, it would help solve the financial crises facing both Wayne County and Detroit, and free up funds that could be then used to fight blight and provide desperately needed city services.
Government officials should be demanding that “blight removal” be paid for by the banks. They caused the blight through their fraudulent, predatory, racist lending practices, and then got bailed out and are now making record profits. The banks should be made to pay for the destruction they caused, not the people.
Demand that the state use federal helping “Hardest Hit” funds to save our homes and communities, not tear them down! Make the banks pay to remove the blight they caused.
For more information contact: Moratorium Now Coalition, moratorium-mi.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 313-680-5508.