Personal Liberty Digest™ will be upgraded this weekend to reflect a dynamic new look and mobile-friendly viewing to enhance your experience! Plus, we'll be providing even more of the compelling content you've come to expect, delivered in a whole new way!

  Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Rising Number Of Squatters In Detroit

DETROIT, Aug. 23 (UPI) — Detroit officials say complaints about squatters have tripled in recent years but Michigan law makes it difficult to remove illegal residents.

There are more than 100,000 vacant properties throughout Detroit, many of which are increasingly being taken over by squatters, The Detroit News reported Tuesday.

City Ombudsman Durene Brown says she used to receive about 100 complaints per year about squatters but that number has recently grown to about 300.

“Squatters are nothing new, but it’s much easier with so many people losing their homes and the city’s neglect at making sure [owners] are following our code enforcement,” Brown said.

Gretchen Barrow, who fought for months to remove two squatter families from her neighborhood, said her area “has been hit with a number of abandoned houses and foreclosures, and that’s a major concern for us. I wish I knew how to tackle that, but I don’t have a clue.”

Officials say only a homeowner or a bank can evict residents and a loophole in state law allows squatters to gain possession of a home if they live in it continuously for 15 years, the newspaper said.

“We have found it difficult when you call the police that unless the person is doing something against the law, (they) don’t have proof they are not supposed to be there. It’s a Catch-22 situation,” said Tom Goddeeris, an executive director of a legal resources group.

“We should look at it both ways: How do we embrace it and turn the negative into a positive?” said Quincy Jones, head of the Osborn Neighborhood Alliance. “All these homes are sitting and it’s an open invitation for squatters. It helps prevent homes from being stripped.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Rising Number Of Squatters In Detroit”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.