Project Zero- United Community Housing Coalition and The Department of Neighborhoods Detroit

Property tax foreclosures in Wayne County have dropped by 88 percent since 2015, and the City of Detroit levels are at their lowest point since 2008.

The Wayne County Treasurer's Office (WCTO) presents "Project Zero," a mini-documentary about office operations and how our public-private partnerships and community investors have assisted in developing our neighborhoods throughout the county. The Wayne County Treasurer has a goal for 2019 of zero foreclosures on owner-occupied homes. The WCTO is doing everything possible to reduce foreclosures, help taxpayers get enrolled into payment plans, and provide resources for residents to obtain financial guidance through their community partners.

In this 5 part series, residents in the community are interviewed about their experiences with the WCTO and how their participation has helped to educate and empower all those involved.

The data presented in this documentary was compiled between the years of 2015-2018.

Michele Oberholtzer, director of the Tax Foreclosure Prevention Project at the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC), is interviewed in this second segment of Project Zero. Oberholtzer discusses how UCHC works to represent people at risk of losing their housing and provides information on the services they provide.

United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization, which provides comprehensive housing assistance to Detroit's low-income residents. Today, the organization is primarily focused on the following areas: landlord-tenant legal counseling, housing placement, tenant organizing, and tax and mortgage foreclosure prevention. (Source- interviewed is Victoria Kovari, whose previous position was the general manager of the Department of Neighborhoods, City of Detroit. During this time, Kovari talks about the issues with abandoned properties in the city, and steps taken to tackle blight and prevent property tax foreclosure.

The Department of Neighborhoods (DON) provides a direct link between the City of Detroit and block clubs, community groups, business owners, faith and school leaders, and everyday residents. The 14-member team includes a district manager and deputy district manager in each City Council district. Their top responsibility is fighting blight and rebuilding and strengthening the fabric of the neighborhoods. Each City Council district also has a business liaison focused on helping neighborhood businesses grow and succeed. The business liaison helps businesses navigate City processes; connect to resources to promote growth; and improve the business environment in neighborhoods. (

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