DETROIT - The annual tax foreclosure auction in Wayne County is just days away and that means thousands of people could soon be evicted from their homes.
For many nervous residents their fate rests in the hands of housing investors. But today one of them sold a home for only $1 - he says its and investment in the future of the city.
Robert Coleman moved into a west side rental house 10 years ago. But his landlord recently moved away, and then he lost his job leaving him not knowing what to do.
"When I came here years ago there was a landlord that used to be here," Coleman said. "I was renting from him, and then he just disappeared and left me at the house."
Coleman decided to keep living there and hoped for the best. Meanwhile, the house was put on Wayne County's tax foreclosure auction list, along with 25,000 other homes this year.
Housing investor Mohamad Bazzi took ownership and stopped by to speak with Coleman.
"If I keep the homeowner in there and the house occupied, then it stabilizes the block and stabilizes the area," said Bazzi, of New Renaissance Property Management. "So it adds more value to the rental property I have in the area."
Bazzi saw Coleman making an effort to fix up the home, so he offered Robert a deal he couldn't refuse - the house for $1.
"I thought he was joking," Coleman said.
He graciously accepted.
"It's just good karma," Bazzi said. "By doing good deeds for others, it comes back to us."
Bazzi did not make any money selling to Robert, but he says, generosity like this, is what Detroit's housing market needs to turn around.
"Doing the right thing works but you have to do it for the right people and the people that want it," he said. "The people of Detroit want their homes back they want their neighborhoods back. And they're willing to do everything they can. We have to stop the cycle. This is one way of doing it."