Another State of the City

April 18, 2024

"Imagine, if you will, an alternate universe where Detroit never went through Emergency Management. A universe where we invested the bulk of the city budget in our schools, libraries, parks, and public transportation. A universe where housing is TRULY affordable, and our elected officials passed policies that would benefit ALL Detroiters. Tonight, Detroit People’s Platform would like to pull back the curtain and share a different reality about the state of our city."


On Thursday, April 18, 2024, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivered his annual State of the City address. Policy analysts, advocates and grassroots organizations contest the administration’s characterizations of the impact of economic policy on everyday Detroiters. After the mayor’s address, Detroit People’s Platform shared a different story about the state of our city. While not a direct response, this is an analysis and commentary on the impact of the administration's policy and will highlight:

  • The Mayor’s recent claim that the administration has spent $1billion in affordable housing yet they have failed to address the housing crisis faced by everyday Detroiters . (1)
  • The administration’s claim that their approach to economic development has driven overall revenue growth is inaccurate because they have failed to adjust their numbers for inflation. (2)
  • The fact that in the last 10 years, Detroit has awarded nearly $2 billion in TIFs to private developers and that every year for the last 7 years over $100 million is annually diverted from the city’s general fund and public institutions like schools and libraries. (3)
  • The fact that between 2013 and 2022, median income for Black residents grew by 16% while white residents’ median income grew by 50%. Black homeownership overall during this period dropped 10% while white homeownership rose 6%, and that Black home values grew slowly while white home values significantly increased. (4)
  • The fact that while the white population has slightly increased, 100,000 Black residents have left the city. (5)

The event was streamed after the mayor's address and cane be viewed on YouTube.


(1) The recent press release highlighting this claim notes that 895 units (less than 20%) of the affordable housing has been for residents at less than 30% federal AMI. Because federal AMI uses suburban incomes along with Detroit proper, which are almost double that of the city’s. This means that 30% federal AMI is actually still unaffordable for many very low income Detroiters. In other words, close to 80% of the new affordable units are still unattainable for almost half of Detroiters.

(2) According to the City of Detroit’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports from 2013 to 2023, in nominal dollars, total revenue went from $1,043,313,518 in 2013 to $1,288,665,486 in 2023, an increase of $245,351,968. However, when adjusting for inflation, the revenue figure for 2013 rises to $1,363,200,000, resulting in a decline in total revenue of $74,534,514 in real dollars, a decrease of 5.5% in revenue over the last 10 years.

(3) Based on audited data from the City of Detroit and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) obtained by Detroiters for Tax Justice and Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports, from 2017 to 2023, $741 million in taxes was captured and abated that would have went to the the city’s general fund, Detroit Public Schools, and Detroit Public Library. Data from a Legislative Policy Division (LPD) report (dated March 9, 2020) on DEGC’s 2020-2021 Budget and DEGC’s Public Authority website shows from 2013 to 2023, $1.9 billion in tax increment financing has been awarded to development projects.

(4) Detroit Future City, Economic Indicators Update 2023:

(5) US Census Data: