Here’s a disturbing figure: About 10,000 homes in Detroit were foreclosed on from 2011-15 because of inflated property assessments
The finding comes in a study by two Chicago professors, reports The Detroit News.
Over-assessments causing foreclosure were concentrated in the city’s lowest-valued homes — those selling for less than $8,000 — and resulted in thousands of Detroit homeowners losing their properties, according to the study.
“The very population that most needs the city to get the assessments right, the poorest of the poor, are being most detrimentally affected by the city getting it wrong,” says Bernadette Atuahene, says law professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law who has studied the impact of the city’s over-assessments on homeowners, according to the News.
“There is a narrative of blaming the poor that focuses on individual responsibility instead of structural injustice. We are trying to change the focus to this structural injustice.”
Atuahene authored the study along with Christopher Berry, a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.