Mayor Duggan Announces Updates on Vaccine Scheduling, Property Tax Exemptions

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently updated residents, among others, on vaccine scheduling and capacity at the TCF Center despite national distribution issues. Duggan also announced a record number of eligible Detroit residents have been approved for full or partial property tax exemptions after a big outreach campaign to make more Detroit homeowners at risk of … Continued The post Mayor Duggan Announces Updates on Vaccine Scheduling, Property Tax Exemptions appeared first on The Michigan Chronicle.

Mayor Duggan Announces Updates on Vaccine Scheduling, Property Tax Exemptions

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan recently updated residents, among others, on vaccine scheduling and capacity at the TCF Center despite national distribution issues. Duggan also announced a record number of eligible Detroit residents have been approved for full or partial property tax exemptions after a big outreach campaign to make more Detroit homeowners at risk of delinquency and potential foreclosure alert of the program, he said during a January 19 press conference at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters.

“We are going to continue to do vaccination updates as often as we need to because the information is changing continually,” Duggan said, adding that a number of healthcare systems and counties have to cancel or reschedule vaccinations. “[We] want to let you know what’s going on in the city of Detroit.”

The city of Detroit expanded its eligibility list for COVID-19 vaccines to include federal and state law enforcement officials who live or work in Detroit and report to a job site, according to a city press release. That includes FBI, ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshal, U.S. Attorney, Michigan State Police, and Michigan Attorney General. Mayor Mike Duggan provided the vaccine update at a news briefing on January 19.

A lot of outside issues have slowed down the vaccine distribution in Michigan, too, including the Trump administration not speeding up its efforts to distribute more vaccines. Also, according to a Local 4 news article, nearly 12,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine were ruined on their way to Michigan when the temperature to store them became too cold.  

Duggan said that, however, the federal government said they are going to double the amount of Pfizer vaccines being sent to states this week.

“This is what everybody is dealing with,” Duggan said. “The state of Michigan had a shortfall of about 50,000 vaccines, which means from what they’ve said everybody is having a tough time.”

Duggan added that this week in Detroit the city expected to get 90,000 but they received 6,000.

“We can work with 6,000 but it is not what we had hoped,” Duggan said, adding that the city will keep expanding eligibility.”

Duggan also encouraged residents to keep their appointments they have scheduled this week. 

However, there are two changes: 

  • Individuals will receive the Moderna vaccine instead, along with new appointment dates for the second dose. 
  • Those individuals will receive the new dates for second appointments during their visit to the TCF Center, so there is no need to call the appointment center.

As of January 19, the city has scheduled 12,000 appointments at the TCF Center for: 

  • 8000 seniors and good neighbors
  • 3,300 teachers, school and childcare employees 
  • 700 city of Detroit employees 
  • 400 U.S. Postal workers.

Eligible residents can call (313) 230-0505 between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday-Friday to make an appointment. 

Also, with hundreds of applications still being looked at, the city of Detroit already has issued a record number of property tax exemptions to income-eligible homeowners for the Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP), Duggan announced at the press conference. 

The city has approved more than 10,500 (and growing) Detroit homeowners for a property tax exemption, a 15% increase over the 9,089 approved last year. 

The city’s approved exemptions have increased by nearly 150% since 2014, according to a press release, which is helping more than 10,000 Detroiters avoid foreclosure. HPTAP allows homeowners to be exempt from their current year property taxes based on household income or circumstances to help them avoid the possibility of foreclosure.

For the past five years, the city’s Board of Review and Office of the Assessor have implemented an intensive outreach and hands-on marketing plan to reach Detroiters in need of property tax assistance, according to the release. Regardless of the challenges of helping individuals during a pandemic, the city spent many hours to reach eligible Detroit homeowners, which included:

  • Creating an online HPTAP application process
  • Visiting homes to pick up applications when necessary or drop off applications when requested
  • Making more than 2,000 phone calls to remind prior applicants of the 2020 application deadline 
  • Assisting more than 1,200 Detroiters with the HPTAP application at the TCF Center

Also, the city partnered with the Rocket Community Fund to support 15 non-profits hosting virtual workshops to help Detroiters apply for property tax exemptions. The City worked with Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and Accounting Aid Society to assist applicants. 

The city also partnered with Wayne County to assist Detroiters with their delinquent property taxes through the Pay as You Stay (PAYS) program. Detroit homeowners enrolled in the HPTAP program were also enrolled in the PAYS program, which helped eliminate interest, penalties, and fees associated with delinquent taxes, and enrolled them in an affordable payment plan to keep their home. The PAYS program through December 20, 2020, has accepted 5,022 Detroiters and substantially lowered their delinquent property taxes.

Find more information on HPTAP here.

Find more information on PAYS here.

View the live stream here.

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