Detroit Tax Officials Tells Squatters In Foreclosed Homes They're Welcome To Stay If They Pay

It’s too bad our pal Kenneth, the $16 house guy, doesn’t live in Detroit, or he might’ve been able to keep on squatting: Tax officials in Wayne County are going to offer those living in thousands of foreclosed homes the opportunity to stay in those homes for as little as $500.

CBS Detroit says more than 6,000 homes were foreclosed due to unpaid taxes and didn’t sell at auction. The county treasurer’s office would rather see those homes with occupants than sitting abandoned, so they’ll negotiate with anyone living inside, including former owners.

Wayne County Deputy Treasurer Eric Sabree said representatives from his office will make the offer on thousands of delinquent properties, with a few requirements.

“A person must prove to us that they are bonafide residents who unfortunately, I am presuming, have been paying their rent to somebody who apparently didn’t pay their delinquent taxes,” he said. People can prove residence with driver’s licenses or a state ID card, as well as cable or utility bills.

Those who get to stay then must be monitored for two years to ensure that they maintain the property and pay taxes on the home — after all, the point is keep the house from looking abandoned.

The city of Detroit isn’t putting their stamp of approval on the county tax officals’ plan, and some see it as unfair on people who have never missed a tax bill.

County Officials Giving Away Detroit Homes For $500; Taxes Must Be Delinquent [CBS Detroit]