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Gilbert foundation to help Detroit renters facing eviction

May 23, 2022 GMT

DETROIT (AP) — A foundation connected to billionaire Dan Gilbert is investing $13 million in a fund to help low-income Detroit residents facing eviction.

The Gilbert Family Foundation said Monday that $12 million will be invested over three years in three Detroit-based organizations that will provide legal representation for renters with children.

It is expected to benefit nearly 6,000 families each year. The funding will be made directly to the United Community Housing Coalition, Michigan Legal Services and Lakeshore Legal Aid which will manage the program. They also will hire lawyers, legal supervisors and legal aids.

The Gilbert Family Foundation also has allocated up to $1 million for a long-term study into the program’s effectiveness and the city’s eviction defense ecosystem.

City officials recently passed an ordinance that provides renters facing eviction with legal representation in all eviction proceedings and housing-related administrative proceedings which threaten the occupancy of their homes.

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“The Detroit Eviction Defense Fund will level the scales of justice for vulnerable renters, who deserve the opportunity to remain in their home and enjoy lasting housing stability,” said Jennifer Gilbert, who along with her husband Dan Gilbert are the foundation’s co-founders.

Dan Gilbert is founder and chair of Rocket Companies, which includes mortgage loan provider Rocket Mortgage.