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Detroit Land Bank helps fight foreclosure

Nearly 100 Detroit residents get second chance to stay in homes

DETROIT – Nearly 100 Detroit residents got a second chance to stay in their homes Wednesday through the Detroit Land Bank buyback program.

The program helped homeowners who had lost their homes to foreclosure or renters who were at risk of eviction. The buyback program meant those families were back under their roof.

LaTonya Smith and her son, Marquise McCray, regained legal ownership of their home. McCray was living with his father, and Smith was one step from homelessness.

Smith lost her home to foreclosure after McCray developed stage 4 cancer, and Smith was hit with Crohns and lost her job.

Others who were helped by the program are renters who are becoming first-time homeowners and buying the home they were renting.

Through the program, the residents agree to pay $1,000 and keep up to date with taxes by paying monthly installments in a deposit-only account. They must also take quarterly classes on financial skills and home maintenance to become better homeowners.

Home Depot and Lowe's are offering special help, including to Smith, who is looking forward to a new door.

The city estimated there are 4,000 people like Smith out there who need help from the Land Bank.

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