Community engagement

Neighboring 101 - A Tale from Neighborhood

Hi Everybody!  Our neighborhood says, hello and welcome to the D!

I am Edythe Ford, the Community Engagement Director and Building Operations Manager for The Commons and a lifelong resident of Detroit and the Pingree Park neighborhood.  Detroit 48214 is a resilient community and this is one of our stories.  

Mr. Glenn is a senior on Crane Street, he lives behind me and has been a member of our community since 1969.  He was brought to our attention by my next door neighbor, Mr. Taul, Mr. Glenn was about to lose his home because he could not keep up with his property tax payments.  

With Mr. Taul, I went over to Mr. Glenn's, not only was in really behind in his property taxes, his gas and electricity were shut off!  Working with our community partners, St. Augustine/St. Monica and the St. Vincent De Paul Society we got Mr. Glenn's utilities back on in 2 days!  

Next, we got Mr. Glenn to apply for a property tax exemption and to claim his residence as Personal Residence Exemption.  The Property Tax Exemption is a long time state law which allows low-income Michigan residents to apply to have their property tax exempted yearly, providing they are low income and maintain ownership of the home, there are with no liens or paybacks for receiving an exemption.  The Personal Residence Exemption lowered Mr. Glenn's tax rate for back years he was overcharged, erased a lot of interest, and lowered his tax balance to under $2000 from $6783.  And we weren't done yet, once his balance was under $2000, the State Emergency Relief fund paid the entire $2000 past due balance, he started 2019 with zero house debt, lights, and gas!

I never expect a thank you or gifts, because God says we must care for our neighbors!  Next, I am not good with rewards and accolades because of something we all should be doing, Caring for our Neighbors!!

Fast forward to March 2019 and Mr. Glenn stops by the Commons and hands me an envelope and to apply for his 2019 Property Tax Exemption. The envelope was a happy birthday, thank you card (I still don't know how he knew it was my birthday, he won't tell).  Mr. Glenn has a very small retirement income, but he manages to save a couple of dollars to buy me a Cappuccino for my birthday!!  Helping Mr. Glenn was not the big deal in this story, it what Jesus calls us to do, what is touching, is we get to love our neighbors and get loved back in ways that are far more special than thank you's and gifts.  We get to touch lives in the way Jesus has called us, we give God the glory.

So, the next time you drive thru our old neighborhood, just remember this lesson in Neighboring 101!!  We are not down, we are hopeful, because "with God as our partner, we make our plans LARGER!"

Community Engagement Spring Update

Save Money on 2019 Property Tax through the PTE Exemption

Aren’t Taxes a pain? Especially when they keep piling on and it seems no relief is in sight.  Well we have something for you that may makes it almost painless and that is through the Property Tax Exemption (PTE). MACC Development is in the fight to help residents in the 48214 to stay in their homes.  Last year 158 Homeowners in the 48214 applied for property tax exemption in 2018, meaning they did not have pay, and were exempted from 2019 property taxes.

Edythe Ford, MACC Development and repping the 48214, with Mason, informing Detroit homeowners on the PTE and how to save your home.

Edythe Ford, MACC Development and repping the 48214, with Mason, informing Detroit homeowners on the PTE and how to save your home.

This year we are back again hosting FREE Property Tax Exemption Clinics in 2019. These exemptions can help you save some of your hard earned money paid in the form of property tax.  

Now we are starting again for 2019, every 4th Tuesday of the month, 2 pm - 7 pm, at The Commons, MACC Development is hosting our monthly FREE Property Tax Exemption Clinics.  The exemption stops the pile on of back taxes and interest, allows you to catch up with your tax bill or use the money for something important, like fixing your home. We help you complete the application, notarize, and provide a self addressed stamped envelope, ALL FREE.

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The Commons One Year Anniversary!

The Commons celebrates are one year anniversary this month and it’s been a blast.  Awards, recognition, people coming from all over the world to see our project in the hood!!  We are so happy to be an anchor in our community. Our greatest reward is being a place for old skool Detroit and new neighbors to meet, have coffee, and wash clothes together.  Stop by for Open Mic Night every second Saturday at 7 pm, a neighborhood community meeting, or African Stortytelling, Men’s Bible Study and more! No need to go downtown, it’s all here in the hood.

The Commons is the ultimate gathering spot!  We rent space for parties, meetings, concerts and more. View our space rental information at  Contact Edythe at or 313.731.2037 to discuss your next event.

We hope to continue to be humble servants to our neighbors in 2019.  Thanks for your support as we venture into year 2!