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City of Detroit accused of violating the Fair Housing Act

Debris-filled house in East New Orleans where a search team found the skeletal remains of an elderly woman on July 28, 2006, 11 months after Hurricane Katrina hit the area.
Cheryl Corley, NPR
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Debris-filled house in East New Orleans where a search team found the skeletal remains of an elderly woman on July 28, 2006, 11 months after Hurricane Katrina hit the area.

Activists in Detroit accuse the city of using tax policies that violate the Fair Housing Act.

They’ve filed complaints with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the state office of Civil Rights over the alleged violations.

They claim that some of Detroit’s lowest-value homes are being taxed at a higher rate than more expensive ones.

The leader of the group Coalition for Property Tax Justice is Bernadette Atuahene. She says there needs to be an investigation because procedural issues are blocking relief for residents.

“We have this overwhelming evidence that the city of Detroit is violating the Michigan State Constitution which quite clearly says no property can be assessed at more than 50% of its market value this evidence has not to this day been heard by a court”

The complaint names mayors and assessors in Detroit… Highland Park…and Inkster.

Russ McNamara is a reporter and host of All Things Considered for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news to the station’s loyal listeners. McNamara has been working in radio since he was 17 - and in news since 2012. He also worked as play-by-play announcer for Wayne State University basketball for seven years. Born in the Upper Peninsula, McNamara is a lifelong Michigander. He is a 2002 graduate of Central Michigan University’s Broadcast and Cinematic Arts Program.