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Detroiters behind on rent, facing eviction can seek help from the city

Defaulting renter with facemask receives letter giving notice of eviction from home on wooden table
Steve Heap/steheap - stock.adobe.com
Some Detroiters have been scrambling to find a place to live after federal eviction moratorium was lifted earlier this month.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced Friday that the city is expanding a program that will assign attorneys to residents facing eviction. The 36th District court in Detroit resumed evictions at the beginning of September after a federal moratorium was lifted.

Duggan says all residents have to do is show up to their Zoom court date and a lawyer will be provided to them.

“Normally, government doesn't provide a lawyer in a landlord-tenant case. But because we do not want people out of their homes and COVID, this is an emergency period and that legal assistance is there,” he said.

The city is recruiting additional attorneys to take part in the program. They will be paid $350 per closed case.

The City of Detroit will attempt to fast-track jobs for residents facing eviction. The city intends to use its "Detroit At Work program" to connect residents to jobs that pay from $12 to $20 an hour.

Duggan says there are positions open in restaurants, factories, and hospitals.

“There are a lot of employers hiring immediately," he said. "They are employers that don't need a high degree of skills, and in many cases, we can get you hired in as little as 24 hours.”

The City is also connecting eligible Detroiters and landlords to funding to help cover back rent. And if a resident does end up in eviction court, the City will provide them with legal representation.

Laura Herberg is a reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.
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