‘Extend tax foreclosure moratorium!’

WW photo: Kris HamelActivists in Detroit picketed the Michigan state building on April 16 to demand a permanent moratorium on tax foreclosures and a reassessment of all homes located in Detroit and Wayne County, needed to reduce grossly inflated tax bills. They demanded the Michigan State Housing Development Authority use the remaining $250 million in federal “Hardest Hit Homeowners” funds to pay back taxes and keep people in their homes. This money, which was meant to help low-income homeowners avoid foreclosure, is currently tagged for “blight removal,” that is, tearing down homes throughout the city.

Popular pressure resulted March 31 in the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office announcing a six-week deadline extension for delinquent tax payments. Activists with Moratorium NOW! Coalition say the delay must be extended past May 12 until the crisis can be resolved. There are still 37,000 owner-occupied home seizures pending, and more than 62,000 tax foreclosures overall are set to take place.