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The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF) has launched a “Neighbor to Neighbor” campaign in Detroit, Mich., for tax foreclosure resources, partnering with the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) and eight community development organizations, Quicken Loans recently announced. The door-to-door initiative will attempt to reach all 60,000 residential properties in Detroit behind on property taxes and connect residents at risk of tax foreclosure to resources.

“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.”

Underutilized tools to prevent foreclosure include a property tax exemption for owner occupied homes and an option for disabled veterans. The “Neighbor to Neighbor” program, funded by the QLCIF, is now accepting applications for additional community groups and block clubs to join the peer-to-peer effort and help those at risk of tax foreclosure with the goal of reaching all residents facing this challenge.

Program Background
In May 2017, the QLCIF partnered with UCHC to knock on the doors of 3,300 occupants of Detroit homes facing the 2017 tax foreclosure auction. The outreach effort helped the residents of 2,100 homes ultimately avoid tax foreclosure and remain in their homes.

Due to the success of this work, the QLCIF has announced this $500,000 “Neighbor to Neighbor” fund to expand the work and engage additional local organizations in outreach efforts. Canvassers will be paid hourly out of the QLCIF grant.

The following community groups will participate in the first phase of the rollout:

  • Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance
  • Central Detroit Christian
  • Eastside Community Network
  • Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
  • Live6
  • Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
  • Bridging Communities, Inc.
  • Black Caucus Foundation

Other organizations that would like to join the program and receive funding for tax foreclosure awareness outreach should visit foreclosureoutreach.org to fill out an application. Applications will be accepted through Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. A QLCIF representative will respond with next steps.

This 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 & 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.

For more information, please visit www.quickenloans.com.

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