Our continuing graphic series on the barriers that keep folks from accessing water, housing and land in Detroit has been investigating, in recent strips, a slew of concerns that face homeowners. These include a lack of information about financial assistance programs, a confusing foreclosure procedure, predatory real-estate developers, and a long history of segregated housing policies. Yet, while these all affect residents’ abilities to access safe and affordable housing, they do not, at least, destroy peoples’ homes. Our current strip looks at how quickly and easily a foreclosed home can go up for demolition — sometimes while people are still inside them.
In House on Junction II, we talk to born-and-bred Detroiter Joseph Bates. (Don’t miss House on Junction I, where we meet Joe’s great-grandmother, Dorothea, or any of the other strips in the series so far, all listed here.) Reader be warned: Joe’s story is not typical. In fact, it may represent a perfect storm, given the bad housing policies currently at work in Southeastern Michigan.
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1. “Why Detroit Erupted,” Jake Blumgart, Slate, August 14, 2017. Accessed September 18, 2017: https://www.slate.com/articles/business/metropolis/2017/08/tom_sugrue_on_what_the_movie_detroit_gets_right_and_wrong.html
3. Thomas Sugrue lecture, Wayne State University, July 24, 2017.
4. Shirley Davis Interview, June 12, 2015; Interviewer: Noah Levinson; “Detroit 67: Looking Back to Move Forward” (2017, Detroit Historical Museum). Accessed September 18, 2017: https://detroit1967.detroithistorical.org/items/show/42
5. “A Half-Century Later: Understanding the 1967 Riot,” Detroit Jewish News, April 20, 2016. Accessed September 18, 2017: https://thejewishnews.com/2016/04/20/half-century-later-understanding-1967-riot/
6. Joe Bates’s address at St. Matthews & St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church, a part of a press conference held on July 8, 2017, by the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures. Further details were provided in a personal interview with Bates that afternoon.
7. “Auto Plant vs. Neighborhood: The Poletown Battle,” Jenny Nolan, Detroit News, January 26, 2000. Accessed September 18, 2017: https://blogs.detroitnews.com/history/2000/01/26/auto-plant-vs-neighborhood-the-poletown-battle/
8. Poletown Neighborhood Council v. City of Detroit, Docket No. 66294, March 13, 1981.
Copyright Anne Elizabeth Moore and Melissa Mendes 2017.