Gilberts to announce eviction legal aid donation
The Gilbert Family Foundation is putting money toward legal aid for renters facing eviction.
Driving the news: Billionaire Dan Gilbert and his wife Jennifer's philanthropic organization is announcing the Detroit Eviction Defense Fund at a 10am press conference today.
- The amount the Gilberts and partners will donate was not disclosed ahead of the event.
Why it matters: Reducing evictions protects individuals and could also help stem the flow of displacement out of the city that creates vacancy, hurts underserved populations and hampers neighborhood growth.
Flashback: This cash infusion builds on the money City Council approved earlier this month in a new "Right to Counsel" ordinance for low-income renters that's been in the works for years.
- Federal pandemic relief funding is providing $6 million under the ordinance.
Yes, but: $16.7 million per year total is needed according to eviction defense providers cited in a Stout Risius Ross LLC study commissioned by the Gilbert-related Rocket Community Fund.
By the numbers: Legal aid would aim to correct an imbalance laid out in Stout's study, also being released today.
- Landlords had representation in 83% of the 30,000 36th District Court filings from 2017 that Stout analyzed. Tenants had representation in just 4%.
- Tenants who have lawyers are 18 times less likely to be displaced or have their life significantly disrupted, Stout found.
Between the lines: For every dollar Detroit spends providing low-income tenants with legal representation to fight eviction proceedings in court, the city saves $3.52 in social safety net spending, Stout found.
Expected attendees for today's announcement include City Council President Mary Sheffield, Jennifer Gilbert, Detroit Corporation counsel Conrad Mallet and a Lakeshore Legal Aid executive, according to an advisory.
Context: The move is part of the Gilberts' $500 million commitment for Detroit philanthropic pursuits.
- They've also started funds for home repair and paying off property tax debt.
More Detroit stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Detroit.