Warren family evicted for squatting in city-owned home

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

Warrren police evicted a family of seven Tuesday that Mayor Jim Fouts said was illegally living in a city-owned home.

Police found shelter for the family in Monroe after they were removed from the house at 22001 Panama.

The father of the family was issued a citation for trespassing that could result in up to $5,000 in fines and/or up to 180 days in jail, officials said.

Fouts said in a statement Wednesday that the eviction “should be a message to all squatters who have been occupying vacant homes in Warren that the city will not tolerate this, and it will cost them either hefty fines and/or imprisonment.”

The city owns the home on Panama and used the federally funded Community Development Block Grant program to rehabilitate it to sell to a low- or moderate-income family.

Fouts said neighbors contacted his office after witnessing the squatters move in. The eviction was based on 1930 and 1961 state laws regarding occupancy of a residential building without consent and illegal entry in a residence.

“These squatters deprived a needy family from purchasing a home, and they were not paying property taxes or water bills,” Fouts said. “They were essentially getting city services free at the expense of the taxpayers and a needy family.”

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2311