DETROIT – Dan Gilbert made an announcement Thursday that will directly impact Detroit for years to come – A total of $ 500 million will be invested in the city of Detroit and its residents over the next 10 years, on behalf of a joint initiative of the Gilbert Family Foundation and Rocket Community Fund.
READ: Local Organizations To Invest $ 500 Million In Detroit, Eliminate Property Tax Debt Of Thousands Of Owners
The funds will start with help for homeowners with past due property taxes.
Over the past decade, the city of Detroit, Wayne County, and Gilbert have tackled the problem of property tax foreclosures, but it remains a problem for the roughly 20,000 Detroiters who find themselves in an endless circle of low income, high bills and struggling to make ends meet.
Gilbert said he has to stop for Metro Detroit to move forward.
“No person should have to make the decision to keep them at home or feed their family,” Gilbert said.
Gilbert and his wife, Jennifer, are pledging half a billion dollars through the Gilbert Family Foundation and the Rocket Community Fund to make a real impact on the problems people face.
The first effort will set aside $ 15 million to return property taxes that can often lead to overwhelming generational poverty.
“We’d rather delve into a handful of important and critical issues and have a huge impact on them than just hand out the money like Santa Claus,” Gilbert said.
This is the beginning of donating focus so Detroiters stop looking back financially and move on, maintaining and improving their homes.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said that with this investment, foreclosures are no longer the big problem.
“The stress is that there are people with bills that are four, five or six years old hanging over their heads, making them insecure in their life every day,” Duggan said. “What the Gilberts have done is give them a path to financial security.”
The fund will be operated by local nonprofit Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, which already works to help Detroit-area residents with home-related payments through property tax assistance programs and services. related. To find out if you qualify, click here.
This tax debt retirement money will inevitably end the city and county, but Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said there is much more at stake here.
“I’d rather have property taxes paid, interest and penalties removed, fees dropped, fees dropped and people be able to pay their taxes,” Evans said. “That is going to build a stronger Wayne County.”
Gilbert estimates that $ 15 million will resolve the taxes owed, leaving $ 485 million for other problems. He said he has not decided where the money will go next and is focusing on one problem at a time.
For more information on investing by organizations, visit the Gilbert Family Foundation website here.
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