“Take tha House Back,” a Detroit-made music video which explores Detroit’s mass tax foreclosure problem, won “Best Hip Hop Video” at the American Music Video Awards in Charlotte, NC. The video is directed by Detroit filmmaker Kate Levy and Detroit hip hop artist Will See. The video is produced by Bryce Detroit for Detroit Recordings. The song was produced by Matthew Cross, for Rise Like Lions Productions. The song also features Detroit civil rights icon Maureen Taylor. The video features the Detroit Poetry Society, who is currently restoring to function as a live-work space in the North End.
Following the 2008 financial meltdown, home assessments remained high, while property values plummeted. These improperly assessed home values led to tens of thousands of long-term homeowners losing their homes on the heels of the tsunami of bank foreclosures that ransacked neighborhoods. According to the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures, from 2011-2015, the Wayne County Treasurer 1 in 4 homes faced tax foreclosure.
Take tha House Back also shines a light on who benefits from these foreclosures. As thousands of Detroiters lose their homes, new Detroiters are purchasing properties cheaply through the Detroit Land Bank Authority. “The reason why the land bank has 100k properties is because of tax foreclosures,” says Michelle Olberholzer of United Community Housing Coalition.