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DETROIT RENTER CITY

ARE YOU FACING EVICTION? IF YOU ARE, KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE! NO ONE SHOULD FACE EVICTION DURING A PANDEMIC! TO FIGHT BACK- CONSIDER ATTENDING YOUR COURT HEARING

COVID-19 has affected everyone, especially Black, poor and working-class people. It has made an already challenging housing climate worse. No one should be made homeless as a result of the financial hardship caused by this crisis.

As landlords start to file court documents to evict tenants, tenants will depend on judges to do what is right and keep people housed. We have the right to demand that from them. If we all demand to remain housed together, we stand a better chance at preventing another housing crisis.

 Below is a suggested script for tenants to use if you are called to court for an eviction hearing. Add your own personal circumstances at the end of the script, including any reasons (maintenance issues, etc.) that you should not be evicted. 

You have the right to request an attorney and a trial by jury at your first hearing.

Court Script

I, like tens of thousands of other working-class people in Detroit, have been economically impacted by COVID-19. My difficulties are not due to my own inabilities but are a result of the pandemic. An eviction order would be punishing me for hardship beyond my control. I/my family should not lose our home because of the virus.  

Everyone needs housing to stay safe and healthy during a pandemic, and your role as judge is to dispense real justice. I am asking for you to not grant this eviction order, or any eviction order resulting from COVID-19 hardship. I am requesting an attorney and a trial by jury.*

To seek free legal representation, contact:

United Community Housing Coalition at 313-355-3352 or,
Lakeshore Legal Aid at 888-783-8190 or michiganlegalhelp.org

If you receive a judgement to to be evicted, but you want to challenge the decision, contact:
Detroit Renter City at detroitrentercity@gmail.com, 313-473-0699
Detroit Eviction Defense at 313-530-0216. 

*There is a waivable fee for jury requests. You may be asked to post escrow.

JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD AND ALL VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY! JUSTICE FOR ALL OF DETROIT! NO MASS EVICTIONS DURING THE PANDEMIC!

This has been a week of escalated actions of physical violence against Black people in the United States- George Floyd of Minneapolis and Sha’ Teina Grady El of Ypsilanti. We are a housing organization, which means we are concerned with people’s wellbeing- so we speak out against racial injustice. 

On Thursday, May 28th, James Craig, Detroit’s chief of police stood with community leaders to condemn four Minneapolis police officers who were fired for their involvement in the videotaped arrest and murder of George Floyd.

Detroit Renter City urges the Detroit Police Department to serve and protect the residents of this city by refusing to enforce eviction orders issued through the 36th district court. We urge you to take this action to ensure that Black families and households are not displaced and not forced onto the streets during a pandemic. We urge you to dismiss all citations that have been written punishing Detroit residents for gathering during a time when people are already experiencing gross economic hardship, in a city where 49% of residents have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic. Poverty in Detroit is compounded by wage disparities emblematic of racism and a devaluation of working class people. Dismissing citations protects Detroiters from financial hardship.

Read our full statement here.

WE WILL NOT BE MOVED

Over the last decade, profit-driven policies from municipal and Wayne county officials have displaced residents, increased the demolition of housing, and over taxed homeowners. Today, 56% of Detroit residents are renters. Our local elected leaders as well as staff of the planning department and the Detroit Land Bank Authority continue to encourage Detroiters to buy homes, however that option is not financially possible nor sustainable for many residents.

Despite the recent implimentation of the Detroit Rental Property Ordinance and state laws that prohibit retaliatory evictions and rent increases, Detroiters continue to face illegal evictions and a shortage of affordable options in an ill-maintained rental market.

Cities need renters and renters need access to safe, properly maintained, and affordable housing. Together, let’s push back against unjust evictions, rent increases, and property negligence to keep renters in Detroit housed, healthy, and secure.

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