The property tax foreclosure crisis in Detroit — linked, nearly inexplicably, to the city’s confusing and dangerous water shut-off policies — is far from the only housing concern city residents face. In fact, the housing frustrations homeowners now face have deep roots in the city’s past.
We’ll let a local expert fill you in on that story, in this month’s episode of our comics journalism investigation into Water, Land, and Housing in Michigan. It’s the first of two strips detailing the experience of one resident, Joseph Bates, trying to stay in his family’s ancestral home. (You won’t want to miss our installment next month, either, when we finally meet Joe and hear the gripping story of his home in Detroit.)
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- Joe Bates’ address at St. Matthews and St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, a part of a press conference put on July 8, 2017 by the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures. Further details were provided in a personal interview with Bates that afternoon.
- “Wanted—A Room.,” Paula Meredith, Detroit Free Press, April 14, 1907, page 53.
- “Mother of Two Trails Ex-Husband, Jails Him,” Detroit Free Press, May 3, 1927, page 15.
- “Ten Fascinating Facts About Detroit’s Fisher Building,” Dan Austin, Detroit Free Press, September 1, 2015. Accessed July 22, 2017: https://www.freep.com/story/news/2015/08/31/detroit-fisher-building/71460314/
- Unsigned article, Detroit Free Press, December 5, 1945, Page 18.
- Origins of the Urban Crisis, Thomas J. Sugrue, Princeton University Press (1996, New Jersey), pages 19-21.
- Sugrue, page 23.
- Raw data from Ethnic Groups in Detroit, 1951, Albert Mayer, Wayne University (1951, Detroit), page 43.
- Sugrue, page 211.
- Sugrue, page 220.