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Thursday, November 7 • 4:15pm - 5:45pm
Unequal Treatment: The Fight for Safe Rental Housing in Detroit

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For decades, low-income tenants in Detroit have been forced to choose between homelessness and living in substandard housing rife with hazardous conditions. Although Detroit has stringent rental regulations, landlords and judges routinely ignore them. As a result, tenants in Detroit, a city with a population that is 79 percent black and 8 percent Hispanic, are treated worse than tenants in nearby majority-white cities. This session will introduce participants to the severity of the problem and explore the challenges tenants face when seeking to enforce their rights. Presenters from Center for Civil Justice, Detroit Justice Center, Lakeshore Legal Aid, and Michigan Legal Services will engage with the audience to brainstorm creative solutions to this complex problem. The advocates will address recent efforts to enforce local health and safety regulations, the movement to crack down on slumlords and predatory land contract vendors, and the obstacles people with criminal records face is this context.


Marie DeFer

Staff Attorney, Lakeshore Legal Aid
Marie DeFer is a staff attorney at Lakeshore Legal Aid, an LSC funded organization serving 46 counties in Southeastern Michigan. Marie’s practice focuses on housing and public benefits law.

Nicole Huddleston

Staff Attorney, Detroit Justice Center
Nicole Huddleston is a staff attorney at the Detroit Justice Center. Since graduating from law school, Nicole has dedicated her legal career to serving the underrepresented by providing legal counsel and representation to individuals who otherwise would not have access to the judicial... Read More →

Linda Jordan

Center for Civil Justice, Public Benefits Law Attorney
Linda Jordan is the public benefits law attorney at the Center for Civil Justice (CCJ) in Flint, Michigan, where she focuses on strengthening critical safety net programs that serve low-income and disabled Michiganders. She is part of the legal team that successfully challenged Michigan's... Read More →

Joe McGuire

Staff Attorney, Michigan Legal Services
Joe McGuire is a staff attorney with Michigan Legal Services who represents tenants, land contract buyers, and mortgage borrowers fighting for their homes. He also works with Detroit Eviction Defense, a community activist group that organizes protests, mutual aid, and other actions... Read More →

Thursday November 7, 2019 4:15pm - 5:45pm EST
Richard B 5th Floor