The League is involved in workgroups on the issue of “squatting.” This is when someone illegally inhabits a vacant or foreclosed home. This is a problem throughout the state and Rep. Kurt Heise (R- Plymouth Township) would like to see a solution to this problem. He has convened workgroups with the League, Michigan Association of Counties, financial institutions, realtors, and others to help come up with that solution. There are issues where individuals themselves decide to squat in a home but a growing problem is the organized squatting, where individuals gain assistance from organizations and individuals highly knowledgeable in this arena to gain access to homes. Falsification of documents occurs regularly in these circumstances. The goal of the workgroup is to make squatting unattractive and put in penalties for those who do it and those who assist as well as quicken the process for recovery of these homes for the homeowner.
We want to hear from you on this issue. What problems have you faced with squatters in your community? Feel free to email me any of your experiences at email@example.com.
Nikki Brown is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development and land use issues. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-908-0305.