Detroit’s towing scandal, gentrification on rise: Your Monday briefing

Brainard Hills Park was closed and purchased by a developer in the Cass Corridor. Photo by Steve Neavling.

These are Monday’s top stories:

Another wave of gentrification to slam Detroit

Another wave of gentrification could displace lower-income Detroiters from as many as 10,000 affordable housing units, predominately in downtown, Midtown and Corktown. 

The properties are set to soon lose low-income housing tax credits in the next five years, The Detroit News reports

University of Michigan Professor Margaret Dewar, who researches housing tax credits, said it’s more difficult for developers to provide low-income housing because of inadequate funding. 

That could force many building owners to sell. 

The city of Detroit is partly to blame for spending tax dollars on major developments, such as the Red Wings arena, which increased the demand for market-rate housing. 

Detroit’s towing scandal gets more bizarre

Detroit’s growing towing scandal just got more bizarre.

Police officials in Ecorse and Highland Park are accusing Detroit’s top brass of meddling in how they are processing stolen cars.

The Detroit Police Department alleged both cities were improperly using the system, according to The Detroit News

“At that meeting, (Craig) started telling everyone they were doing things illegally,” Ecorse police Chief Michael Moore claims Detroit police Chief James Craig said. “Someone tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘let’s go out for a minute.’ Then, when he came back, he backpedaled on everything he said. I don’t know what was said outside the room, but he clearly realized he was out of bounds by saying we were doing illegal things.”

The city of Detroit has been under fire for allegedly retaliating against towing companies that have filed suit against the city. Some officials believe Mayor Duggan’s administration is trying to provide more tows to Anthony Soave, who owns a tow company that does business with the city and several impound lots in Detroit. Soave and his business partners have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Duggan’s political campaigns and played a major role in Duggan’s successful write-in campaign.

With fewer towers in the rotation, Soave stands to get more business.

According to court records, Soave admitted he gave convicted former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick about $400,000 worth of private flights and a Rolex watch while getting lucrative contracts from the city.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.