What if someone came for your home?
In Detroit this fall, 25,000 properties will be sold to the highest bidder in the largest municipal property auction in U.S. history. Many of these properties are vacant plots of land and empty buildings, but many others are occupied residential homes. This means that the fate of tens of thousands of Detroiters lies in the click of a button. Furthermore, the effects of foreclosure are especially devastating in Detroit because foreclosure leads to mass displacement and destruction of properties. One in six occupied homes in last year's auction are now vacant and blighted, just one year later, according to a study by Loveland Technologies.
In spite of this, the auction can actually represent an opportunity for a fresh start — for the same families currently facing eviction. In last year's auction, thousands of occupied homes went unsold even though they could have been bought for just $500. Many families didn't even know their home was in foreclosure, or couldn't afford the $2,500 deposit just to bid!
The Tricycle Collective is a volunteer-run organization empowering Detroit families to save their homes by crowdfunding to buy them at auction and gift them back to the family.
That's right, $500 in donations can keep a Detroit family in their home. Or turn a struggling tenant with an absentee slum landlord into a first-time homeowner. Or put a homeless family back under a roof. The Tricycle Collective has launched a fundraising and awareness-raising campaign to raise $20,000 for 20 families whose homes are at auction right now.
The OccupyWallSt.NYC team is already in for $100, and we'll match the first 5 people who donate $10 today. Click here to donate on local Detroit crowdfunding site Patronicity.
Last year, the Tricycle Collective contributed $500 to 10 families to help them buy their houses back in auction. This year, they have dramatically increased their outreach by canvassing hundreds of occupied homes in the auction, as well as doubling the number of families they donate to and increasing the value of the contribution to help pay outstanding taxes on the properties.
This fundraiser is based on the profound opportunity that a family may be able to save their home with a little bit of money and information. Most problems in Detroit are so deeply entrenched that easy wins are hard to come by and homeownership certainly doesn't solve everything, but for the families they help, it makes a world of a difference.
You can learn more about the Tricycle Collective on their website, and follow their updates on Facebook and Twitter. And if you know folks in Detroit, tell them to join the Tricycle Collective at their fundraising event tomorrow (Wednesday) night, 7pm, at Jam Handy (RSVP here!)
And above in the video is a little musical inspiration for anti-foreclosure activists everywhere, from a local Detroit artist who'll be performing at tomorrow night's event:
These our HOMES
These our HOMES
Y'all can't take em, Y'all cant take em
These our HOMES