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PRNewswire/ -- The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund (QLCIF) has partnered with the United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) and eight community development organizations to launch an extensive education effort addressing the pervasive issue of tax foreclosure in Detroit. This door-to-door outreach will attempt to reach all 60,000 residential properties behind on property taxes and connect residents at risk of tax foreclosure to resources. Underutilized tools to prevent foreclosure include a property tax exemption for owner occupied homes and an option for disabled veterans. The "Neighbor to Neighbor" program, funded by the QLCIF, is now accepting applications for additional community groups and block clubs to join the peer-to-peer effort and help those at risk of tax foreclosure with the goal of reaching all residents facing this challenge.
     "No one organization can do this work alone," said Laura Grannemann, vice president of investments for the QLCIF. "We need everyone working together to connect Detroit residents with the tools that will keep them in their homes and allow them to continue building equity as the city grows."
     In May 2017, the QLCIF partnered with UCHC to knock on the doors of 3,300 occupants of Detroit homes facing the 2017 tax foreclosure auction. The outreach effort helped the residents of 2,100 homes ultimately avoid tax foreclosure and remain in their homes.
     Due to the success of this work, the QLCIF has announced this $500,000 "Neighbor to Neighbor" fund to expand the work and engage additional local organizations in outreach efforts. Canvassers will be paid hourly out of the QLCIF grant.
     The following community groups will participate in the first phase of the rollout:
Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance
Central Detroit Christian
Eastside Community Network
Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
Live6
Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
Bridging Communities, Inc.
Black Caucus Foundation
     Other organizations that would like to join the program and receive funding for tax foreclosure awareness outreach should visit foreclosureoutreach.org to fill out an application. Applications will be accepted through Friday, November 10, 2017. A QLCIF representative will respond with next steps.
     The Quicken Loans Community Investment Fund is a for-more-than-profit enterprise that has a passion for investing in people and place to open doors to opportunity for Detroiters. This program is the latest addition to the Quicken Loans Family of Companies' long legacy of supporting solutions to systemic challenges facing Detroit's neighborhoods, like widespread blight, tax foreclosure, and access to affordable housing.
    There are roughly 60,000 homes behind on their property taxes in Detroit. Many of these homeowner's may qualify for a full or partial property tax exemption. Families facing financial hardship, residents living in poverty and disabled veterans may be eligible to stay in their home.
    This program is part of a wider initiative to maintain the integrity of Detroit neighborhoods and ensure Detroiters have the opportunity to build equity as the city continues to grow. 
Other work includes:
Rehabbed & Ready—Quicken Loans made a $5 million commitment to rehabbing publicly owned homes in partnership with the Detroit Land Bank to boost home values, increase access to financing, and reactivate Detroit homes.
Affordability—Bedrock, a full-service commercial real estate firm within the Quicken Loans Family of Companies, signed an agreement with the City of Detroit committing to dedicate 20 percent of its residential portfolio to affordable housing. This agreement includes the development of new housing, as well as preservation of existing affordable units.
     Blight Removal Taskforce—Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans, co-chaired the Blight Removal Taskforce, which brought stakeholders together to provide resources and leadership toward increasing data access regarding blight, advocating for Hardest Hit Funds, and bringing partners together to address blight in our communities.
Renter to Owner—Quicken Loans Family of Companies made it possible for 80 renters to become homeowners this year. Using funds donated by QLCIF, families in these homes facing displacement because their landlords failed to pay property taxes were given an opportunity to purchase their home for $2,500 - $5,500.


(StatePoint) Fall is the perfect time to complete those pesky home maintenance projects left on your to do list. If you’ve been putting off these chores, you’re not alone, but it could cost you. In fact, a national survey from Erie Insurance shows many Americans are putting themselves and their homes at financial risk by delaying important home maintenance tasks.
     Make sure you’re protected by focusing on these five areas:
• The Roof. Twenty-three percent of homeowners admit they never inspect their roof or have it inspected unless there is a problem, according to the Erie Insurance survey. Unfortunately, replacing a roof is also one of the biggest expenses a homeowner may have if not maintained properly. Nationally, the average homeowner spends about $6,600 to install a new roof, but prices can soar upwards of $20,000.
     Don’t be stuck with a hefty roof repair bill. Have it inspected to see if any shingles are damaged and need to be replaced. The fall season is the optimal time to do so, since roofing is best installed when temperatures are cooler. Plus, you’ll catch any problems before winter weather kicks in.
• The Gutters. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear of debris. Clogged gutters can lead to major issues like uneven floors, cracks in walls and interior water damage. This type of claim, also known as seepage, is a maintenance issue and often not covered under your home insurance policy. To prevent any major issues, clean gutters at least twice a year in fall and spring.
• The Dryer Exhaust Duct. Does it take you two to three cycles to dry a load of laundry? If so, you may need to clean your dryer vent. One in five admit they never clean their clothes dryer ducts, unless they have a problem. But lint build-up can catch fire easily. Over 15,000 dryer fires occurred nationwide from 2010-2014, with the majority being ignited by dust, fiber and lint, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Avoid this disaster with a thorough cleaning once a year.
• The Fireplace Chimney. Erie Insurance found nearly half (46 percent) of people who own a home with a fireplace never have their chimneys cleaned. However, uncleaned chimneys are a leading cause of structure fires, reports the National Fire Protection Association. So, get the chimney cleaned before the cold weather hits and you find yourself tossing logs in the hearth to keep the house toasty, and then have it cleaned annually.
• The Sump Pump and Pit. Sump pumps remove excess water from homes that would otherwise cause property damage. It’s important to clean a sump pump and its pit annually to keep basements dry and help prevent mold growth and water damage. Do this maintenance project in fall to help protect against heavy rainfalls and accumulated melting snow and ice of winter.
     For more information on how you can protect your home through the seasons, visit www.ErieInsurance.com.
     Now that you have your checklist, it’s time to roll up your sleeves while it’s still nice outside. Whether you’re a DIYer or prefer hiring a professional, crossing these projects off your to-do list will help ensure you’re safe and secure before temperatures drop.



Quicken Loans Investment Fund
launches 'Neighbor to Neighbor'
Five home maintenance projects to tackle this fall
Real Estate