After years of disinvestment in Detroit’s neighborhoods and housing stock, city officials are hoping a new home repair program can begin to reshape the narrative and re-invest in thousands of homes across the city. Renew Detroit launched in September 2021 with $30 million appropriated to help repair roughly 1,500 homes for eligible senior and disabled homeowners. 

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In July 2022, city officials added an additional $15 million in state funding to the program, though that only scratches the surface. A University of Michigan Poverty Solution study estimates that Detroit needs nearly $2-$4 billion for home repairs across the city. 

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Looking at this issue and the need for systemic solutions, “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson hosts a roundtable discussion with the City of Detroit’s Chief of Special Housing Programs Heather Zygmontowicz, Eastside Community Network President & CEO Donna Givens Davidson, and BridgeDetroit reporter Malachi Barrett — who heard from Detroit residents — to explore the impact home repair needs are having on residents and neighborhoods.

They talk more about the city’s home repair program and the issues that have led to homes falling into disrepair, as well as the negative impact of property tax overassessments and the effect on property values and generational wealth. 

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.