Zero Homeowner Tax Foreclosures in the City of Kalamazoo in 2019

 

An innovative Tax Foreclosure Prevention Partnership between the Kalamazoo County Treasurer, LISC, and the City of Kalamazoo reached its ambitious goal of eliminating tax foreclosures on owner-occupied homes in the City of Kalamazoo in 2019.

“This is truly a historic achievement,” said County Treasurer Mary Balkema, adding, “This number has never been zero in any of our lifetimes.”

The program makes use of the County’s existing hardship criteria and one-on-one financial counselling to target those homeowners who have not only the greatest need for assistance, caused by a medical or other catastrophic life event for example, but also the highest likelihood of exiting arrears permanently.

The partnership, which was supported by $80,000 of Foundation for Excellence funding through the City’s partnership with the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), built on the successful 2018 pilot program that resulted in zero tax foreclosures on owner-occupied homes in the Northside Neighborhood.

Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell emphasized that, “The Foundation for Excellence makes a difference in our community every day. We know this from the testimonials from residents who have stayed in their houses because of foreclosure prevention work and the overall reduction in city property tax. The FFE is helping folks and making a difference in our residents’ lives and in our community by keeping people in their homes.”

Program success resulted in part from the door-to-door outreach done by a team of City and County officials, including Treasurer Balkema, Mayor Hopewell, and City Commissioner David Anderson. “In a time of heightened partisanship, this partnership between the City and the County is a real triumph,” said Commissioner Anderson.

The County Treasurer’s activities also had positive results countywide. No one who owns and occupies their home had a hardship form denied. Payment plans were agreed to in all cases. “Kalamazoo County is focused on addressing homelessness and developing affordable housing strategies with all of our partners in the county. The effort to prevent foreclosures and keep families in their homes aligns with our housing focus, and is a notable accomplishment for the entire community,” said County Administrator Tracie Moored. 

“We know that keeping people in their homes helps to prevent many of the negative social and economic outcomes that arise from housing insecurity, especially for children and the elderly,” continued Mayor Hopewell. “This is important work that also helps ensure that the youth in our community are not just Promise-eligible, put Promise-ready.”

This foreclosure prevention partnership is intended to continue each year to help avoid all preventable foreclosures in the City of Kalamazoo.

 

Community Invited to Learn about Historic Preservation in Kalamazoo at May 8 Presentation

 

The Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission (KHPC) will be showcasing the history of historic preservation in Kalamazoo at a free presentation on Wednesday, May 8th in the Van Deusen Room of the Kalamazoo Public Library starting at 7pm.

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about historic preservation work in Kalamazoo and the processes and organizations that perform this work. Presentation topics will also include how the preservation movement started, how historic preservation has impacted Kalamazoo, and upcoming projects such as the Hidden Kalamazoo book, the Grave Issues Squad gravestone inventory at Mountain Home Cemetery, and Old House Owners Workshops scheduled for this summer.

Kalamazoo was among the first communities to identify historic preservation as a tool in planning by appointing its first Commission for Historic Preservation in June 1965.

Please call Sharon Ferraro, City of Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Coordinator at (269) 337-8804 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 

KDPS Joins ‘Neighbors’ by Ring to Provide Users with Real-Time, Local Crime and Safety Information

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety today announced that it is joining the free Neighbors app by Ring to provide the City of Kalamazoo community with real-time, local crime and safety information. The Neighbors network already has millions of users and has been instrumental in catching package thieves, stopping burglaries, and keeping neighborhoods safe.

Residents can text ‘StaySafe’ to 555888 from their smartphone to download the Neighbors app for free on iOS and Android and use the app to; join their neighborhood, share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text-based posts; and receive real-time safety alerts from their neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team.

Karianne Thomas, Chief of Kalamazoo Public Safety, said: “This is yet one more example of collaboration with the community, to make Kalamazoo safer. We hope that with this community involvement, KDPS can be even more effective at solving and preventing crimes from occurring.”

Jamie Siminoff, Chief Inventor and Founder of Ring, said: “We’re excited to have KDPS join Neighbors to keep their community up-to-date on local crime and safety information. Over the past few years we have learned that, when neighbors, the Ring team and law enforcement all work together, we can create safer communities. Neighbors is meant to facilitate real-time communication between these groups, while maintaining neighbor privacy first and foremost. By bringing security to every neighbor with the free Neighbors app, the Kalamazoo community can stay on top of crime and safety alerts as they happen.”

How It Works

  • Download the Neighbors app on iOS and Android here: ring.com/neighbors or by texting ‘StaySafe’ to 555888 from your smartphone.
  • Opt-in to join your neighborhood.
  • Customize the geographic area you want to receive notifications for (users must verify where they are located and cannot participate in other neighborhoods).
  • Receive real-time alerts from your neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team that inform of crime and safety alerts as they happen.
  • View local crime and safety posts via a live feed or interactive map.
  • Share text updates, photos and videos taken on any device, including Ring’s home security devices.
  • Work with your community to make neighborhoods safer.

About Neighbors

Neighbors is a neighborhood watch app that provides real-time, local crime and safety information. Download the free Neighbors app (iOS/Android), join your neighborhood, and use the app to: view neighborhood activity; share crime and safety-related videos, photos and text-based posts; and receive real-time safety alerts from your neighbors, local law enforcement and the Ring team. For more information visit www.ring.com/neighbors.

About Ring

Ring's mission is to reduce crime in neighborhoods by creating a Ring of Security around homes and communities. Ring is an Amazon company. The Ring product line, along with Neighbors by Ring, enable Ring to offer affordable, whole-home and neighborhood security devices and services. In fact, one Los Angeles neighborhood saw a 55 percent decrease in home break-ins after Ring Doorbells were installed on just ten percent of homes. For more information, visit www.ring.com. With Ring, you’re always home.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

Contact

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 (269) 337-8047
 (269) 337-8182
 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Keep in Touch