Detroit — One in six homes that were occupied prior to last year’s tax auction is now vacant, according to a new report that tracks the fate of foreclosures in Detroit.
This summer, the data company Loveland Technologies surveyed about 5,800 homes and found that nearly 1,000 are now vacant. In addition, 61 properties had been damaged by fire after the sale.
“With 8,000 occupied properties currently for sale at the tax foreclosure auction, and 60,000 more properties being warned of imminent tax foreclosure in 2016, looking backward helps us look forward, and the question becomes: What are we as neighbors and policy makers going to do to avoid what’s so clearly coming if we do nothing?” Jerry Paffendorf, CEO of Loveland, wrote in an email.
The Wayne County Treasurer is currently auctioning off more than 28,000 foreclosed properties, the vast majority are located in Detroit. The auction ends Sept. 24. In the auction’s first round, the starting price is the debt owed. All those properties that don’t sell will be offered again in October with a starting price of $500.
Reforms were instituted this year to stem the foreclosures. Legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder allowed the treasurer to lower interest charged on debt to 6 percent from 18 percent for many homeowners. Also some homeowners had taxes capped at a quarter of the market value of the home.
The report includes a map and before-and-after photos of the homes Loveland surveyed. See their work here.