Detroit Citywide Housing Coalition Pickets Slumlord

By Fighting Words Staff

Dozens of housing activists weathered freezing temperatures on Friday, November 18 to demonstrate against Munoz Realty on Michigan Avenue in the Corktown district of Detroit.

The Moratorium NOW! Coalition, Detroit Tenants Association (DTA), Detroit Eviction Defense (DED), Michigan State Representative Cynthia A. Johnson (5th Dist.), Michigan United and others, joined together to demand an end to substandard housing for rent in the city.

The list of complaints against this landlord were documented by the organizers who spoke at the rally.

State Rep. Johnson and numerous speakers also demanded that the City administration under Mayor Mike Duggan take swift and immediate action against those exploiting and abusing renters in general and African American, Latin American and other oppressed women and children in particular.

Demands raised by the protesters were

* Munoz Realty – STOP Evictions Now

* Repair Illegal/Dangerous Rentals!

* Munoz Realty – Stop Lead Poisoning Tenants

* Munoz Realty – Pay Your Blight Tickets

* Quality Low-Income Housing Now!

* Mayor Duggan – Fully Fund Right to Counsel!

Some of the issues reported by tenants at Munoz Realty properties:

  • Flooded and moldy basements
  • Malfunctioning water heaters and furnaces
  • Rat feces and cockroaches
  • Unregistered rental units
  • Broken windows
  • Lack of certificates of compliance
  • Extremely poor-quality repairs including cabinets not fastened to wall studs (which Munoz blames on tenants!)
  • Fire hazards such as doors not opening properly
  • Lead contamination
  • Improperly placed carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Numerous unpaid blight tickets
  • Collapsing floors
  • Failure to respond to tenants’ requests for repairs

Speakers also called for Federal pandemic relief funds should be utilized to build and rehabilitate homes for low income people in Detroit.

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