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Detroit City Council holding hearing a proposed “Right to Counsel” ordinance

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"Detroit Renaissance Center" by James Marvin Phelps is licensed with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/
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The Detroit City Council is holding a public hearing tomorrow on a proposed “Right to Counsel” ordinance.

The ordinance would pay for legal assistance for low-income Detroiters facing issues related to eviction, tax foreclosure and land contracts.

Attorney Tonya Meyers Phillips is a project leader for the advocacy group, the Detroit Right to Counsel Coalition. She says before the pandemic began, the city had one of the highest eviction rates per capita in the nation.

“And even now, after the pandemic, the rate has gone down somewhat with emergency rental assistance programs being available. But unfortunately, we see that it's going back up again.”

Duggan administration officials have said the ordinance, as written, would send the city back into state financial oversight. City Council President Mary Sheffield says she’s planning to introduce changes before the hearing that would address those concerns.