Detroit city council members join activists in foreclosure fight

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Thousands of Detroiters are forced out of their homes by tax foreclosure every year.

Now a city council woman is fighting side by side with activists dedicated to helping people stay put.

Demonstrators lined up in a peaceful manner and rallied on Monroe Street near the Wayne County Treasurer's Office in Greektown.

Councilmembers Mary Sheffield and Councilman Gabe Leland say too many homes are being foreclosed in the City of Detroit.

The councilwoman issued a call to action urging the a portion of the Hardest Hit Funds be reprogrammed to prevent tax foreclosures.

"Tens of thousands of people are facing foreclosures in Detroit and the council members here say the county needs to take a better look at what works and what doesn't," Leland said.

"I also want to shed light on the step forward that is intended for people to use to help people stay in their homes and there's issues with that program," Sheffield said. "We're hearing from residents all over that restrictions are too tight, and that we need less restrictions with the program."

Leland also wants to with state lawmakers to get rid of the 500 minimum in the housing auction bid.

"A lot of times, these properties are going to the wrong people," he said. "They're going to Investors, they're going into hands of people who really don't want to bring back Detroit, and bring back these neighborhoods."

The crowd of demonstrators grew Wednesday afternoon - their chants were heard and their message was clear.

Jeannine Spencer says she is a Detroit resident who has been denied help from the county resulting in her losing her home.

"It's like a few people on my block have been denied as well," she said. "Senior citizens who had been there for years, lost their homes."

Councilwoman Sheffield says there are roughly 14,000 thousand homes that face foreclosure in Wayne County, and a high percentage of that numbers are properties in the city.