Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield introduced a historic package of bills coined “The Peoples Bills” aimed at creating upward economic and social mobility for Detroiters focusing on low income and generational Detroiters.

  • Detroit Resident Parking Discount             

  • Affordable Housing Trust Fund Allocation    

  • Home Repair Grant Allocation                     

  • Cash Bail Reform Resolution                        

  • Poverty Tax Exemption Ordinance              

  • Low Income Fare Reduction

  • Community Control over Police Surveillance

  • 51 % Local Hiring Ordinanc

  • Income Based Water Affordability

  • NEZ Amendments

  • Community Benefit Ordinance Amendments

  • Homeless Bill of Rights Resolution                

  • Right to Counsel

  • Foreclosure Compensation

Home Repair Grants

For the 5th consecutive year, City Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield has advocated for funding for the traditional Senior Home Repair Grant Program. Initially, the administration shifted funding from the program in favor of the 0% Home Loan Program. While agreeing that a 0% home loan program is a good idea, Council Pro Tem strongly believes that there is a real need for the traditional home repair grants which could allow seniors to receive funding for roofing, furnaces, windows, and other critical repairs they otherwise couldn’t afford. This budget cycle, fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019, Council President Pro Tem was able to secure a total of $2.5 million for the grant program. As always, Pro Tem Sheffield will continue to step up to the plate for the residents of Detroit who stayed and endured poor services, high taxes, and unsafe conditions. By continuing to fund the Home Repair Program she is sending a signal to those struggling to literally keep a roof over their head that they matter and they will not be forgotten or left behind as the City continues on its road to recovery and revitalization.

Poverty Tax Exemption Ordinance

In 2016, nearly 40,000 owner-occupied households, representing 32% of all Detroit homeowners, qualified for the Homeowners Property Tax Exemption. However, the vast majority did not receive it either because they were not aware it existed or because the process was too burdensome. President Pro Tem Sheffield and the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures proposed and ultimately passed an ordinance which ensures that Detroit homeowners have access to the City’s Homeowners Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP). The ordinance prevents further hardship to Detroit homeowners by ensuring the program is readily available, easily obtainable, and equitably provided to all who qualify.

Please contact the City of Detroit Assessors or more information (313)224- 3035.

Parking Fines Reduction

Parking fines for expired meters and ‘No Parking’ violations continue to be a barrier for Detroiters, especially low-income residents. Listening to her constituents, Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield has sponsored a Detroit Resident Discount ordinance that will provide Detroit residents a 50% discount for no parking and expired meter tickets if paid within 5 business days of issuance. The discount will become available beginning November1, 2019.

Please contact Municipal Parking for additional information (313) 221-2500

Neighborhood Enterprise Zones Reconfiguration

In an effort to promote stronger neighborhoods and provide a tax break to residents in Detroit, Council President Pro Tem Sheffield put forth a request to examine and reassess the City’s Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Homestead areas. A NEZ abatement amounts to roughly a 20% savings on the property tax bill.  The re-evaluation & re-organization would include the following:

• Converting expiring NEZ New and Rehab into NEZ Homestead areas to prevent homeowners from being priced out of their community due to increased property taxes.

• Reconfiguring the fifty-two (52) zones in the City which have a number of eligible properties that have no active certificates and zones with sparse usage to provide the relief to neighborhoods that could benefit from the program.

• Examination of all current homestead zones to determine areas with higher numbers of rental properties in order to transfer the certificates to neighborhoods with higher homeownership rates.

51% Local Hiring Ordinance

The City of Detroit is experiencing a robust renaissance.  During these times, it is of the upmost importance that we ensure that Detroiters play an active role in this renaissance and are afforded the opportunity to benefit financially from the City’s revitalization. Thus, City Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield is attempting to codify into law and strengthen what has merely been a casual attempt, at best, to put Detroiters to work.  The legislation would require:

  • Publically funded development construction projects and certain city contracts to hit a local hiring target of 51%. The ordinance will also apply to all development projects receiving tax abatements. 

  • Under the 51% Local Hiring Ordinance, we are seeking to establish a Mentor-Protégé Program for highly skilled professional construction services.  This includes highly skilled services such as engineering and architecture. 

  • Developers are to submit a detailed employment plan.

  • A separate ordinance applying to certain City funded contracts is also being pursued by Pro Tem Sheffield.

Income Based Water Affordability Ordinance

Over 100,000 homes have experienced water shut-offs since 2014, with Detroit having an astronomical 13% shut-off rate. Water shut-offs and the lack of affordability disproportionately affects poor households and communities of color. Water is a human right and depriving residents of access to clean, safe drinking water is inhumane and a serious threat to public health. Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield is committed to sponsoring an income based water affordability ordinance to ensure that no Detroiter is forced to survive without water. If an ordinance is not legally feasible, Pro Tem Sheffield is prepared to lead an effort that will place the measure before the voters either through City Council or a grassroots-led ballot initiative. Furthermore, Pro Tem Sheffield will be seeking the discontinuance of water shut-offs until such time as a water affordability ordinance is passed and implemented.

Housing Trust Fund

Pro Tem Sheffield authored Detroit’s first ever Inclusionary Housing Ordinance that requires affordable housing on all new or rehabbed developments getting public assistance. The ordinance established the creation of the Detroit Affordable Housing Development and Preservation Fund (DAHDPF), which provides funding for affordable housing projects that serve individuals and families at 50% or below the Area Median Income. During the budget review session, Pro Tem Sheffield secured an additional $2 million for the DAHDPF, bringing the total fund up to $3.6 million for FY 2019 - 2020.

Community Control over Police Surveillance

With the increased expansion of surveillance technology in the City of Detroit, Council President Pro Tem Sheffield believes that legally enforceable safeguards, including robust transparency, oversight and accountability measures, must be in place to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of Detroiters before any surveillance technology is deployed. It is also important to have an informed public debate as early as possible about decisions related to surveillance technology. City Council President Pro Tempore is partnering with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who has developed a policy called the Community Control over Police Surveillance (CCOPS) ordinance, in order to address these issues.

Community Benefits Ordinance

The Community Benefits Ordinance (CBO), which originally passed by a voter referendum in 2016, requires developers receiving certain public assistance or investing over $75 million on a project to negotiate with the host community for benefits. Pro Tem Sheffield requested that City Council revisit the Community Benefits Ordinance to come up with a stronger, more comprehensive and community friendly ordinance.

These changes include:

  • Lowering the investment threshold from $75 million to $50 million.

  • Increasing the number of mandatory meetings a developer must hold with the host community.

  • Requiring the developer to provide all essential documents to the Neighborhood Advisory Committee within 48 hours of the selection of the NAC.


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