The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF) has partnered with the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) and eight community development organizations to launch an educational initiative for those in danger of tax foreclosure in Detroit.
By going door-to-door, the Neighbor to Neighbor program will attempt to reach all 60,000 residential properties behind on property taxes and connect residents at risk of tax foreclosure to underutilized resources.
Funded by the QLCIF, the Neighbor to Neighbor program is currently accepting applications for additional community groups and block clubs to join the peer-to-peer effort and introduce those at risk for tax foreclosure to resources, including tax exemption for disabled veterans and owner occupied homes.
“No one organization can do this work alone,” says Laura Grannemann, vice president of investments for the QLCIF. “We need everyone working together to connect Detroit residents with the tools that will keep them in their homes and allow them to continue building equity as the city grows.”
In May, QLCIF partnered with UCHC to knock on the doors of the 3,300 occupants of Detroit homes facing the year’s tax foreclosure auction, helping residents of 2,100 homes ultimately avoid tax foreclosure and remain in their homes. Due to the program’s success, QLCIF has created the $500,000 Neighbor to Neighbor program to expand the work and engage in outreach efforts. Canvassers will be paid hourly out of the QLCIF grant.
Several community groups including Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, Central Detroit Christian, Eastside Community Network, Grandmont Rosedale Development Corp., Live6, Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, Bridging Communities Inc., and Black Caucus Foundation will participate in the program’s first rollout.
The program is part of a wider initiative to maintain the integrity of Detroit neighborhoods and ensure Detroiters have the opportunity to build equity as the city continues to grow. Other work includes:
- Rehabbed and Ready — Quicken Loans made a $5 million commitment to rehabbing publicly owned homes in partnership with the Detroit Land Bank to boost home values, increase access to financing, and reactivate Detroit homes.
- Affordability — Bedrock, a full-service commercial real estate firm within the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, signed an agreement with the City of Detroit committing to dedicate 20 percent of its residential portfolio to affordable housing. This agreement includes the development of new housing, as well as preservation of existing affordable units.
- Blight Removal Taskforce — Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, co-chaired the Blight Removal Taskforce, which brought stakeholders together to provide resources and leadership toward increasing data access regarding blight, advocating for Hardest Hit Funds, and bringing partners together to address blight in our communities.
- Renter to Owner — Quicken Loans Family of Companies made it possible for 80 renters to become homeowners this year. Using funds donated by QLCIF, families in these homes facing displacement because their landlords failed to pay property taxes were given an opportunity to purchase their home for $2,500 – $5,500.
Applications will be accepted through Nov. 10 and more information about joining the program can be found here.