Detroit Free Press | For the first time in half a century, renters now outnumber homeowners in Detroit.
The surge in downtown and Midtown apartment living is just a tiny part of the reason for the shift. By far the bigger reason: The foreclosure crisis of the past 10 years has seen tens of thousands of single-family houses in Detroit shift from owner-occupied to renter-occupied.
Many of those renters are living below the poverty line, unable to afford basic maintenance on their dwellings. The Detroit Future City Implementation Office is among those raising an alarm about what the trend means for the well-being of many Detroit residents.
“I think the message that we want to give is that it doesn’t have to mean that Detroit is on a downward spiral because there are more renters than there are homeowners,” said Anika Goss Foster, director of the office. “But it does mean that we need to pay more attention to this market. Because not only are there more renters, there are low-income renters living in poor-quality housing and that’s really what we need to be concerned about.”