Right to Counsel program delayed
A program to offer legal representation to tenants facing eviction won't begin as planned.
Driving the news: The city will miss its Oct. 1 deadline to set up an office for eviction defense, the Free Press reports.
- Tenant advocates warned months ago this would happen, saying they didn't see any urgency from city leadership despite the program being established by an approved ordinance.
Why it matters: Providing legal representation won't solve Detroit's housing crisis, but it will make low-income tenants less likely to be evicted.
- Residents needing services now can still use the state's CERA program.
Details: The Gilbert Family Foundation is giving $13 million over the next three years to its Detroit Eviction Defense fund, which builds on the $6 million in federal pandemic funding that City Council approved with its "Right to Counsel" ordinance.
- The program would serve those making below 200% of the federal poverty threshold — individuals making less than $27,180 — who are facing eviction proceedings or property tax foreclosures in the 36th District Court.
What's next: The city is working to get through the American Rescue Plan compliance process, the city's corporation counsel told the Free Press.
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