Study: Detroit Program Delivers 85% Homeownership Rate in 4 Years

For sale house for sale sign
The Make it Home program has helped Detroit achieve an 85% home ownership rate after four years. // stock photos

Recent findings from an evaluation of Detroit’s Make it Home program by the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor found that the 85% were shown to have maintained home ownership for four years.

“This study highlights the importance of affordable and well-conditioned housing for promoting stability for low-income people,” said Make, associate professor of health behavior and health education at UM School of Public Health. It Home rating. “The most insecure were the tenants who had no way to own their homes.”

UM’s analysis focused on the first year the Make It Home program went into effect in 2017, when the city used its first veto to help 80 Detroit renters buy homes. did. People who participated in this program lived in properties where tax foreclosures occurred. That is, the property owner at least he hasn’t paid property tax in 3 years.

Detroit used donations from the Rocket Community Fund (formerly Quicken Loans Community Fund) to purchase homes foreclosed by the Wayne County Treasurer and transferred them to the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) .

UCHC then sold the property to the tenant with a mortgage surrender deed or a 0% interest land contract so that they could make monthly homeownership payments instead of a mortgage.

Since its inception, Make It Home has helped avoid home loss by providing the opportunity to purchase properties that are home to nearly 1,200 Detroit families.

By the end of the program’s first year, 81% of the original 80 Make It Home participants (65 total) either owned the home outright or continued to hold the land contract. Four years after the 2017 property tax foreclosure, Make It Home brought sustainable home ownership to 85% of participants.

The first Make it Home group had a median household size of 3, and 89% of participants earned less than $37,080 annually.

“The Make It Home program was set with two main goals: to prevent tenants from losing their homes in the landlord tax foreclosure crisis and to help them retain home ownership. said Margaret Dewar, Emeritus Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at UM. Co-author of the Make It Home program evaluation.

To compare results, the researchers also examined the results of 154 households with similar characteristics that UCHC sought to help purchase at the 2017 county tax auction. In that group, only 27% remained homeowners after four years, 109 sold their homes at auction, and 15% of those tenants experienced eviction within his next four years. did.

Six of the original Make it Home groups successfully purchased homes and sold them after less than four years of ownership, leaving two homes vacant. But even those homeowners said they were happy to have bought their homes and wanted to keep living in them, even in the face of hardships, according to the researchers.

One participant said that Make It Home reduced “bad feelings.” [of] They have no place to live,” he said, while saying the program provided an opportunity to “save the home” that the family had lived in for a long time.

Participants said that the support provided by UCHC made it easier for them to acquire a home. For some, homeownership was deemed unattainable before this process.Researchers say there are many factors that threaten continued homeownership by program participants.

More than 30% of Make It Home buyers faced imminent foreclosure for failing to pay their property taxes. Two homeowners have vacated their homes. Owners cited poor housing conditions, high housing-related costs, and lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People said they sold the house because it was undermining their health because they couldn’t keep up with the repairs and it wasn’t well maintained,” says Dewar. “They sold because a loved one died, a relationship ended, or they sold their home after being harassed by an investor. Housing insecurity exacerbates the stress of navigating these life crises. I will let you.”

Researchers recommend ways to maintain homeownership rates for low-income buyers.

  • Providing pre-purchase homeowner education and financial counseling to help people build the financial security they need to buy and continue to own a home.
  • Inspect homes prior to purchase so prospective customers have a clear understanding of the extent of repairs required.
  • Increase awareness and access to home insurance because land contracts do not require buyers to have home insurance and out-of-pocket repair costs can be high.
  • Large scale for people who are unable to obtain a traditional home repair loan or equity line of credit due to a low credit score, lack of equity in the property, or lack of disposable income to pay off the loan. provide financial assistance for home repairs.
  • Make available post-purchase support such as utility payment plans and property tax relief to help address ongoing housing costs and prevent home loss.

“Additional support services help homeowners reap the benefits of long-term homeownership. It is imperative that we help them enroll in programs that reduce “Long-term monitoring of initiatives like the Make It Home program provides new insights into the challenges homeowners face and the types of support that make a difference.”