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Thousands of Detroit flood victims still waiting for aid 9 months later

Financial help from the government may never materialize for some Detroit victims of last summer’s devastating flooding while thousands of others have been denied recovery aid. Federal data shows that nearly 39,000 households in the city had gotten some money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as of March 1 for flood damage. But another 8,204 families are […]

Posted inThe Dig

Q&A: What Latinx growth Downriver means to Detroit City Councilmember Gabriela Santiago-Romero

Detroit City Councilmember Gabriela Santiago-Romero knows full well the impact of Latinx residents in Detroit moving Downriver. She represents District 6, which includes Southwest Detroit. That’s long been the heart of the city’s Latinx community. Plenty of her relatives have moved Downriver.  Louis Aguilar: How long has your family lived in Southwest Detroit? Gabriela Santiago-Romero: […]

Posted inThe Dig

Opinion: Detroit learned how to reduce evictions during COVID. Let’s make those changes permanent.

After more than 76 million COVID-19 cases in America and nearly 1 million deaths, the push is on to return to “normal.” But with respect to housing issues in Detroit and Wayne County, advocates are hoping for anything but “normal.”   Prior to COVID-19, Detroit saw annual eviction filings of around 30,000 cases a year — […]

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Attorney: Detroiters facing eviction deserve right to counsel in courtrooms

By Ted Phillips  Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield and other councilmembers are considering introducing a new ordinance that would provide Detroit residents facing eviction with a right to legal representation.  These types of ordinances, known as right-to-counsel laws, have been enacted in cities throughout the country, including New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Toledo. […]

Posted inThe Dig

What does sustainable development look like in today’s Detroit?

“Sustainability is constantly a whitewashed narrative. They say in order to be sustainable, you have to drive an electric car,” Calandra Jones, Eco-D Program Coordinator at EcoWorks Detroit, said. “But Black folks have been doing sustainability their whole lives—we reuse containers, we save our plastic bags, we wrap our furniture in plastic, we put plastic […]

Posted inThe Dig

Tapping into people power to plant trees on vacant neighborhood land

When Tharmond Ligon Jr., 42, moved back to Detroit from Southfield in 2013, his childhood neighborhood near the former Michigan State Fairgrounds, “wasn’t being cared for as it could be,” he recounted.  At the time, he was 33. His move was motivated by an interest to tackle problems in the neighborhood.  “We know nature provides […]

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Old Outlier Media checking account with Capital One used in attempted check scam

Outlier Media has learned that one of its formerly used checking accounts was compromised in two attempts of fraud. Checks bearing the correct account number and Outlier’s former mailing address were issued to at least two people in November. Two targets of the attempted fraud—one person in Arizona, the other in Missouri—contacted Outlier to verify […]

Posted inThe Dig

Low property values, high renovation costs create cycle of closed doors for small-scale rehabbers living in Detroit

A little more than 25% of housing units in Detroit are vacant—a staggering 92,000 units. For longtime Detroiters bearing witness to this in real time, a number of this magnitude carries complex weight. Few would fault residents for feeling compounded emotions after years of population decline, overtaxation, and foreclosure followed by land bank auctions, property […]

Posted inThe Dig

How to buy a house in cash

Paying cash for a house might, for some, conjure up images of bidding wars and deep-pocketed investors who can easily dip into fat bank accounts. But in Detroit, a majority of homes are bought in cash. Even people who could really use a loan or a mortgage are instead forced into riskier cash transactions. We’ve […]

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Michigan poised to slash some industrial electric rates by up to 60%, even as residential bills jump

As Michigan’s residential electric rates have increased even since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the state appears poised to approve plans that could slash costs for large industrial manufacturers by as much as 60%.  A new program proposed to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) by Consumers Energy would reduce rates for new industrial customers using […]

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The ‘fake landlord’ scam destroys lives in Detroit. But culprits rarely face consequences.

This article was published in partnership with NBC News DETROIT — The day she made the final payment on her house last spring, June Walker could barely contain her jubilation.  “I was running around the house, just thanking God,” said Walker, 65, who had scrimped and saved for more than two years, setting aside most […]

Posted inThe Dig

COVID funding to get Michigan’s homeless into rental housing has reached fewer than 100 families. What’s the problem?

COVID-19 rental relief dollars can be spent to help people who have become homeless or stayed unhoused because of the pandemic. But an Outlier investigation has found that fewer than 100 people statewide have so far been able to access that relief. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) changed their policy this summer to […]

Posted inThe Dig

Is housing an environmental justice issue? In Detroit, yes.

Outlier Media’s The Dig has published this story in partnership with Planet Detroit. Nora Rodriguez has lived three places in her life, all in Southwest Detroit. Nearly everything she needs is nearby—her job, friends and family, grocery stores, restaurants and more. But every house is also close to factories or highways. Where she lives now, […]

Posted inThe Dig

Bay Area developer looks to address mass incarceration with Detroit buildings

Update: An earlier version of this story indicated that the Love Building is formerly known by that name. The building name has not changed. The developers and designers behind a Core City building that has faced controversy are expanding on that project. But, they also say they are determined to create a multi-building campus that ultimately advances […]