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Gilbert Family Foundation Makes $12 Million Investment For Detroit's Eviction Crisis

(CBS DETROIT) – The eviction crisis in Detroit is becoming a growing concern as COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CREA) funds are close to depletion.

According to a Stout research report, 53% of Detroit residents are renters and roughly 30,000 households face evictions annually.

The City of Detroit is partnering with the Gilbert Family Foundation to protect families from disruptive displacement.

"Today's announcement comes on the hills of the passage of the city's first-ever Right to Counsel Ordinance that I have the honor of sponsoring," said Detroit City Council President Mary Sheffield.

"Yes, which finally passed after three-and-a-half years of research, discussions and very, very long negotiations."

The Detroit Eviction Defense Fund is a $12 million investment that supports full legal access for families with a child in the home earning equal or less than 50% of the area median income.

"That equates to about $35,500 for a family of three," said Gilbert Family Foundation Co-founder Jennifer Gilbert.

Stout's analysis shows tenants with representation are nearly 18 times more likely to evade eviction.

"The Gilbert Family Foundation and Detroit Eviction Defense Fund is an important contribution," said Detroit Corporation Counsel Conrad Mallet.

"Obviously, the data (Neil Steinkamp, Stout researcher) shared with us is convincing. It's obviously a call to a moral and ethical response and we need to provide an organized effort to help residents who are facing eviction."

The United Community Housing Coalition, Michigan Legal Services and Lakeshore Legal Aid will receive $4 million each over three years to represent tenants.

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