The Detroit Land Bank Authority owns tens of thousands of properties in the city of Detroit, many of which are occupied homes. The Land Bank will acquire 13,874 properties following this year’s Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction alone.*
Many of these properties are occupied homes and the residents are in limbo, hoping they can stay in their homes but without any process make that happen. Each day they wait for a knock on the door or a letter from the new owner or a shut-off notice from the utility company. So far, these have not come because, thankfully, the Land Bank has let them stay.
As usual, The Tricycle Collective is pairing direct support for a few individuals with systemic action. First, we will be working with the residents of 10 of these homes to attempt to buy them back from the Land Bank Authority. Some of these homes were un-purchased in the auction, some of them were in the blight bundle, and some made their way into the land bank’s coffers through other means. Simultaneously, we are pressuring and working with the Land Bank to create a policy that will enable all residents of Land Bank Homes to purchase the property directly.
This is a Win-Win-Win: the resident gains rightful ownership of their property that they already live in; the Land Bank reduces the number of properties they have to deal with and finds a buyer that will be the best possible steward of the house; and the city has more occupied homes, happy residents, and a powerful measure against blight.
*7,509 properties were unsold and 6,365 properties from the “blight bundle” will go to the Land Bank