Evan Ford

  • Hosted by Michigan Legal Services
  • Sponsored by AmeriCorps VISTA, Michigan Legal Services
  • Service location Detroit, Michigan
  • Issue area Housing - Affordable Housing/Microfinance
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program AmeriCorps VISTA

The Project

Evan provided legal training and aid to tenant associations in Section 8 properties throughout metropolitan Detroit with the goal of preserving their homes and improving their communities.

With plans to redevelop Detroit fueling gentrification, there is anticipation of a significant threat to a large number of senior and family Section 8 buildings. With the increase in real estate prices, owners of buildings in gentrified areas have an incentive to opt out of resigning their contracts and sell to developers, who would then turn the properties into market rate apartments or condos, thus displacing the Section 8 residents. These residents would then be forced to move to another property in an already decreasing affordable housing market. This puts the low-income residents at risk of not finding housing and being pushed not only out of the gentrified areas but also possibly out of the city of Detroit altogether. This project will encourage the incorporation of tenant associations with the goal of providing a strong, knowledgeable community who are able to stand up and fight displacement from their homes.

Fellowship Highlights

During Evan’s Fellowship, Evan:

  • Identified Section 8 properties with expiring contracts
  • Assisted in the formation of tenant councils in those properties
  • Held training sessions with residents advising them of their rights

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