Squatter that sunk over $3,000 into Detroit house evicted - FOX 32 News Chicago

Squatter that sunk over $3,000 into Detroit house evicted

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By Taryn Asher
Fox 2 News Reporter


DETROIT (WJBK) -- Brandi Landers woke up Thursday to bailiffs knocking on her door.  It didn't take long before everything she owned was out on the lawn.  She was evicted because she was technically a squatter.

"I'm human and I deserve to be here.  I have a right to be here," she told us.

Last June, the Housing is a Human Right Coalition told her it was okay for her and her kids to move into the property because it was abandoned.  It turns out it wasn't.  It's owned by Flagstar Bank and they wanted her out.

Landers put $3,200 into the house and they put out everything that belonged to her, even the hot water heater.  The bank then brought in a security company to lock the house down.

She is another victim of the Housing is a Human Right Coalition, which is moving welfare families into abandoned homes in many cases still owned by someone else. City officials told us the coalition created by Welfare Rights chair Maureen Taylor is illegally using old applications and acting under the nuisance abatement program and law that currently don't exist.

The Planning and Development Department said it has provided the coalition with a list of city-owned properties, but they must buy them.  The they can't move in for free.

"The issue is that this is about politically suspending the program.  It's not about a legal suspension of the program," said Sylvia Orduno from the Housing is a Human Right Coalition.

"If it was legal and if it was right, then she wouldn't be kicked out of this house," I commented.

"What's legal and right is also about where you're coming from.  The banks have done lots of illegal things to evict families," Orduno responded.

The house, which is in good condition, is located in the East English Village.  Residents said they take pride in their neighborhood and don't want squatters taking over.  But until something is done with the more than 70,000 vacant homes that line city streets, it appears this problem won't be going away anytime soon.

"There (are) too many houses in the City of Detroit to be homeless and they (are) just sitting here," said Landers. "It (doesn't) matter if it (is) city or bank owned, we (are) all humans and we all deserve a place to stay."

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