woman outside home
Elisha Maxwell stands in front of the Beechdale Ave. house on Oct. 18, 2022, that she was renting and is now moving from that is infested with roaches and flies and a host of other issues. The Detroit Free Press is looking into a number of rental homes in Detroit that are in bad shape and concerns from tenants, who are being evicted and advocates. They are raising the alarm about terrible conditions. (Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press)

Housing is a basic need. Homes are a way to build generational wealth. 

But what happens when you’re unsure about how you’ll keep a roof over your head? If you’re facing an eviction, worried about losing your home to property tax foreclosure, need home repair or don’t have a property title in your name? All of these issues can be a complicated web and resources may not always be available at your fingertips. 

BridgeDetroit’s editorial team takes a much deserved rest during this time of year. In addition to our regular news coverage, we’ve taken time to reflect on our accomplishments in 2022 and to share some of our priorities for 2023. Our editors and reporters love serving the citizens in the City of Detroit. We thank you for reading and your ongoing support of our nonprofit newsroom.

I cover economic mobility for the Detroit Free Press and BridgeDetroit, as part of Report for America, a program placing reporters in local newsrooms to cover under-reported issues and communities. One of the areas I focus on is housing. 

Detroiters know all too well the devastating impact of housing instability, from tax foreclosures to evictions. We hear time and time again from readers that housing stories are important and that’s why it’s been a central thread in our coverage this year. 

This year, we covered various housing barriers Detroiters face and provided practical stories on where to get help. We chronicled the push to get free legal help for Detroiters facing eviction, what homeowners and renters should know about Wayne County’s tax foreclosure process two years into the pandemic and what tenants had to say about poor living conditions. We tracked a $1 billion statewide pandemic-era rent assistance program as it came to an end and let readers know about warming centers as the temperature dropped

BridgeDetroit reporter Nushrat Rahman.

But the story that stands out the most to me this year is one about how title problems can disrupt generational wealth building for Detroiters, who might be living in a family member’s home after they’ve passed. After covering tax foreclosures for months, I kept hearing about this issue and knew we had to get a story out here. 

My goal is to continue honing in on housing coverage in 2023. Are we missing anything? What else should we be looking into? Let’s connect


In case you missed it, here are some of our housing stories from this year: 

Tenai Leali, 47, of Detroit, stands next to a window in her home in Detroit on September 27, 2022. Leali inherited her grandparent’s home but has been trying to get the house in her name since 2020. “It’s been so frustrating,” said Leali who is afraid of losing the property. (Sarahbeth Maney, Detroit Free Press)

Name on title could stop Detroit woman from saving her home


Arica Crowder, 26, shows a door leading into her apartment completely off its hinges compromising the safety of the apartment she rents on Oct. 18, 2022. Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press

City and renters fight to hold landlords accountable for poor conditions


Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition member Evan Villeneuve (center) talks with volunteers (left to right) Geri Warren, Jerome Hunt, and Shapri Hunt while explaining the section of Martin Luther King I & II homes in Detroit where they will pass out flyers about fed rent aid to residents on Friday, September 24, 2021. (Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

Free legal help on the way for low-income Detroiters facing eviction


Williams Griffin, 64 of Detroit listens to Kelly Martin, 39 of Clinton Township, a community resource navigator for the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund, talk about his application that he filled out at their Detroit office on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The fund helps people experiencing financial or COVID-19 related hardships. (Eric Seals, Detroit Free Press)

Michigan homeowners play waiting game as relief program catches up


Sharman Davenport, president and CEO of Turning Point, outside one of the 12 apartments in Mount Clemens on Dec. 16, 2021, that her organization has for victims of domestic violence. With affordable housing hard to find, people seeking to leave abusive relationships are searching to have a safe home of their own. Turning Point offers transitional and rapid re-housing for these survivors. (Eric Seals)

Domestic violence survivors struggle to find housing. These advocates want to change that.

Nushrat Rahman covers issues related to economic mobility for the Detroit Free Press and BridgeDetroit as a corps member with Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project.

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