Detroit residents have spoken. After City officials and community groups held 65 public meetings and posted an online survey seeking residents’ input about how the City should use its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, Detroiters say their top priority is home repairs. According to the University of Michigan’s Detroit Metro Area Community Study (DMACS), an estimated 37,630 Detroit homes need major repairs. For 13% of those households, the level of repair has reached hazardous conditions. 

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Renew Detroit home repair program

A hole in Detroit homeowner Samela Dean’s house from leaking water damage is one example of the home repairs that residents across the city need. | Photo by American Black Journal

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In partnership with “American Black Journal,” BridgeDetroit reporter Malachi Barrett went around the community to talk with Detroit residents about the difficulty of getting major problems fixed at their homes. They talk about the cost-prohibitive barriers they face, like banks turning residents down for loans, and the eligibility requirements for Detroit’s home repair program, Renew Detroit. Plus, Barrett learns more about the impact that unmet home repairs have on the city’s neighborhoods. 

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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.