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Diving deeper into the $500M community commitment plan announced by Dan Gilbert

7 Up Front
Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 22:05:00-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Tonight's 7 Up Front dives further into the conversation surrounding revitalization efforts in Detroit neighborhoods following the announcement of Dan Gilbert and family, along with the Rocket Community Fund, committing $500 million to revitalize Detroit neighborhoods.

RELATED: Dan Gilbert announces plan to invest $500M in Detroit neighborhoods, pay delinquent property taxes

The investment will be dispersed over the next 10 years.

Laura Grannemann, VP of Strategic Investments for the Rocket Community Fund, spoke about what the commitment means for Detroit residents and how the support will be realized in these neighborhoods.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to make this commitment over the course of the next 10 years," Grannemann said. "And really, the overall commitment is to building systems of economic justice that work for everyone in our community. We want to make sure that every individual, no matter your economic foundation, has the opportunity to be able to reach that pinnacle of economic stability and ultimately economic mobility."

The first $15 million will go to low-income Detroit homeowners to eliminate property tax debt owed. But how difficult will that process be to navigate for Detroiters?

Grannenmann says her team has been working to break down as many barriers as possible. There's a phone number to call if you believe you qualify for the help. It's 313-244-0274. There's also information online at waynemetro.org/propertytax.

If you're questioning whether you might qualify for the property tax help program, Grannenmann adds that if you already qualify for the Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program, you can qualify for the program through the Rocket Community Fund.

As for the remaining millions in the fund, it's still yet to be determined how the rest of the $500 million will be dispersed. Dan Gilbert's wife Jennifer has been a part of listening groups across the city where conversations are being had about how the remaining millions could best help Detroit neighborhoods.

"Jennifer has been a fantastic partner and leader, and she really wanted to ensure that community engagement and the voices of Detroit residents were first and foremost in our thinking as we go about deploying these dollars," Grannenmann said. "So, our path forward is going to be, as residents engage with the Detroit tax relief fund ... we will stay engaged over the course of time, because we know that just trying to get rid of property tax debt is not enough to ensure that someone really has the economic opportunity that we want them to have."