January 28, 2016

An open letter to Mayor Duggan

Mr. Mayor,
As you know, tax foreclosure threatens the future of this city.

I am writing to you as a Detroit resident and president of The Tricycle Collective to share insights and humble input on the coming foreclosures in Detroit, which include 35,000 occupied properties. I have had the opportunity to gain a great deal of insight into the foreclosure process from the standpoint of individuals facing the process from different perspectives in different circumstances. These suggestions share a portion the insights I’ve gained along the way.

First and foremost, no person should lose their home on a false basis. Foreclosures are based on taxes, which are based on property assessments, and if those assessments are not done properly than there should be no foreclosures based upon them. Ideally, there will be no foreclosures until they can be carried out with valid charges at their basis.

However, if the foreclosures do continue, there are some basic principles and strategies that I believe we should adhere and aspire to as summarized in the accompanying FROMclosure Action Plan.

I have been compelled to work on this issue because there is such an opportunity for positive impact– it’s not a lost cause. I believe that the suggestions I offer can be a benefit to thousands of individual lives and the city as a whole. I hope you consider them as a part of your continued revitalization efforts in Detroit.

Michele Oberholtzer

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