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 […]

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Development of beloved downtown Dearborn comes with complicated feelings

The line at Qahwa House is long on a (worryingly) warm Friday night in December—but that’s normal basically any night of the week, even amid a COVID-19 surge. The coffeehouse in West Dearborn was thrumming with life, dozens of people laughing over plates of sabayah and kids sneaking sips of lattes. There is an unmistakable […]

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

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash 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 […]

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

June Walker sits outside her home. 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 […]

Posted inThe Dig

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

Multiple people who currently don’t have a permanent home and have used Outlier’s text messaging information service have called local agencies and been turned down for assistance. Others were told there was no help available. COVID-19 rental relief dollars can be spent to help people who have become homeless or stayed unhoused because of the […]

Posted inThe Dig

Bay Area developer looks to address mass incarceration with Detroit buildings

This August 2021 rendering from Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, a California-based architecture firm, shows the site plan for the development project at Grand River Avenue and 14th Street in Detroit’s Core City neighborhood. Update: An earlier version of this story indicated that the Love Building is formerly known by that name. The building name […]

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Russell Industrial Center raising rent, skimping on repairs, tenants say

Dennis Kefallinos has owned the Russell Industrial Center since 2003. Many tenants describe being on month-to-month leases, which makes rent increases and evictions easier for landlords. Since the start of 2020, Kefallinos has filed 43 evictions against tenants at the Russell, according to records at the 36th District Court. Photo by Zaire Daniels In recent […]

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Outlier to expand city hall coverage in Detroit thanks to Report for America grant

Report for America announced today that Outlier Media is one of almost 70 new host newsroom partners for 2022, helping grow a program that will now include 325 journalists in 270 newsrooms across the nation. Through this partnership, Outlier will expand its coverage of Detroit city government. Journalists interested in this position can apply here by […]