Housing Justice Now!

March 21, 2024


Why organize for housing affordability in Detroit?  The justice stance believes in the concept of racial equity. Our personal values lead us to agree that everyone should have accessible and quality affordable housing in the neighborhood of their choosing. Advocacy allows us to bridge the gap between our values, desire for racial equity, and the reality of the barriers to winning those goals.  Organizing with our neighbors & allies is how our values become reality. Securing housing affordability will result in the availability of accessible and quality housing that individuals and families can afford. We organize for Housing Affordability because we all need (homeowners and tenants) safe, accessible and adequate shelter maintained throughout our lifetime.     

Why does affordable housing matter? Affordable housing benefits households that do not qualify for or are not on the wait  list for government housing assistance. Because of government underfunding, currently, a limited number of households across the country, have the opportunity to rent housing at an affordable rate.  Yet underfunded housing programs results in unhoused and underserved US residents, especially those who have incomes considered low and extremely low for their demographic area.  Aging is another reason Affordable housing as a solution would align with the inevitable changes in personal incomes and varying physical abilities. Housing prices is a component of the cost of living for most. Cost of living is the defined monetary price we need to have in order to survive in this country which includes but is not limited to the following:   Household expenses include transportation and the related expenses such as parking; fundamental bills such as water and other utilities; internet and phone. Essential expenses are quality of life expenses such as medical & pharmacy, insurance & copays, education & training, food & household items. Living expenses include fines, fees, upkeep & maintenance, and seasonal replacement items.  Many people incur increases in living expenses because of the unaffordable costs associated within the essential and household expense category. Our neighborhoods have suffered from the lack of housing investment therefore Affordable Housing as a solution will contribute to the stable & safe environments we all value. Affordable housing will allow for an increase in neighborhood population because of a decrease in vacancy and the promotion of a healthy economic infrastructure. Detroit homeowners deal with fees, denial for or extreme costs in insurance coverage, and little to no assistance with damages. Affordable housing places value on the people (homeowners & tenants) within the neighborhood, their ability to have access, and the long-term goal for aging in place. Affordable housing is a mechanism to build community wealth for everyone in the neighborhood because it's an investment that can grow equity in your immediate surroundings. Equity from your neighborhood's social infrastructure (schools, libraries, businesses, physical infrastructure and public safety) helps to further the goals of racial equity for majority Black Detroit. 

ADVOCACY Opportunities 

1. State Level: MSHDA has a statewide housing plan that list recommendations for addressing issues related to excessive housing costs for tenants, homeowners, and other housing related issues. 

The Housing Justice team will continue to advocate at MSHDA’s  planning sessions. We welcome your participation if you want to join our efforts. Contact Kea@detroitpeoplesplatform.org     

2. Detroit Level: Renters Rights & Organizing Workshop.  

The Housing Justice Team will continue to educate tenants about their rights as residents in Detroit Mi. We will also support tenants who want to become an organized tenant group that works to address the harm and/or neglect done by those responsible. Email Kea if you or someone you know will benefit from attending or hosting a workshop Contact Kea@detroitpeoplesplatform.org 

Housing Justice Team continues to be a supporting member of:  

  • Right To Council Coalition – advocate to increase funding for full legal representation for tenants during eviction proceedings. Advocate for improvements in    
  • Housing Trust Fund Coalition – advocate for increase in HTF funding that supplies $ for the development of affordable housing, neighborhood improvements, and home repair.  
  • Court Watch Group – monitor court processes on housing related proceedings, advocate for access to much needed legal resources and standardize  processes.  

Low Income Provider Landscape

As of June 2023, Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) is the largest affordable housing provider for Detroit Mi. They both own housing and provide housing subsidies by way of government vouchers.  Michigan State Housing Development and Authority (MSHDA) provides financial support for affordable housing development for rental and homeownership.  MSHDA also provides housing vouchers across the state of MIchigan.