Planet Detroit: Coalition proposes $1.5 billion plan to fix Michigan’s aging housing stock, boost health and combat climate

Jennifer Washington is still struggling to recover from the flooding that hit Detroit on June 25-26, 2021, filling her basement with six feet of water and damaging her furnace, washer, and dryer. And the roof of her house also needs professional repair.

“The water was coming in so bad; I should have just been sitting outside,” Washington said.

Although a neighborhood handyman helped patch up the roof and keep most of the water out, she can’t afford to fully address the problem or pay for expensive appliances with her monthly Social Security checks. She fears these issues could push her out of the house and the neighborhood where she has spent her entire life.

“I love this house, and I love the neighborhood and the people in the neighborhood,” she said of the Eden Gardens area. “We all look out for each other.”

Washington tried to get help with her roof through the Renew Detroit Home Repair Program. But the initial effort to fix 1,000 roofs received nearly 5,000 applications, and the city determined Washington hadn’t had the house in her name for long enough to qualify. 

The MI Affordable Healthy Homes Proposal, put forward by the Resilient Homes Michigan coalition, could help fill in this gap between the home repair needs of residents like Washington and the currently available resources.

Read the full story by Planet Detroit's Brian Allnutt

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  • Beau Brockett