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Wayne Metro

Detroit Tax Relief Fund (DTRF)

This program is for Detroit homeowners who LIVE IN and OWN their home and are struggling with property tax debt. The first step of this program is to apply and be approved for the City of Detroit HOPE property tax exemption for current year property taxes.

Book your intake today!

(313) 244-0274

How the DTRF Program Works

More information about how to get started with Wayne Metro’s Property Tax programs can be found by clicking here.

If you are already approved for the Homeowners Property Exemption (HOPE) program, more information can be found below.

What to Expect After You've Been Approved

What to Expect During the Initial 20 Minute Phone Call

A Wayne Metro Community Resource Navigator will call you to complete a 20 minute needs assessment. During this call, you will be asked a series of questions in order to match you with available resources that meet your needs. Resources include food, utility bill assistance, home repairs, financial counseling, income tax preparation, technology and employment. All resources are subject to program availability.

What to Expect During the Exit, Once Debt Has Been Paid

Once your debt payment has been processed, a Wayne Metro Community Resource Navigator will call you to confirm that your delinquent property tax debt has been eliminated. During this call, the navigator will verify that you were matched with and received all resources available to you. The navigator will advise you of your next HOPE filing year, your upcoming tax bill and available payment options.

My Debt Has Been Paid! Now What?

The HOPE exemption is valid for one year, and you must re-apply each year to receive the exemption.

Once your delinquent tax debt has been paid, the homeowner is responsible to pay any balance that remains owed to the city of Detroit. This balance may include prior and current year solid waste fees, and any remaining balance owed, once the exemption is applied. Visit any Div Dat kiosk or download the Div Dat mobile app to check your current balance and to make a payment. Click here to find a Kiosk near you.

The city of Detroit has introduced a property tax savings program to help homeowners stay current on their taxes and prevent foreclosure. This program is called Plan Ahead. Plan Ahead allows the taxpayer to prepay their property taxes by making small monthly payments. Property owners can get started with this program for as little as $1. For more information, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a HOPE (formerly HPTAP)?
HOPE stands for Homeowners Property Exemption. It is also referred to as the Poverty Tax Exemption, “PTE” or Hardship Program. HOPE provides an opportunity for homeowners to be exempt from their current year property taxes based on household income or circumstances. If approved, you will still be responsible for any fees such as the solid waste fee. The solid waste fee is discounted at to $120 for HOPE approved homeowners. The HOPE application is an annual application, homeowners must apply every year.

Do I qualify?
Eligibility for the HOPE is based on whether you own and occupy your home as your primary residence and your household income or circumstances. Please review the income levels listed below. Most homeowners whose income is below the guidelines are generally approved. Only the Board of Review may approve an application.

How do I apply for HOPE and PAYS?
PAYS is available only to homeowners who have been granted an HOPE. Click here to get help applying for the HOPE program or call 313-244-0474 to be connected to organizations that can help you apply or

What do I need to provide?
To be considered for an exemption on your property taxes, the applicant is required to submit the following to the Board of Review:
• A completed Michigan Department of Treasury Form 5737 (Application for MCL 211.7u Poverty Exemption) and Form 5739 (Affirmation of Ownership and Occupancy),
• Registered proof of ownership (Deed, land contract, probate court order, divorce judgment etc.),
• Any form of government ID with address and picture of the homeowner and all residents over the age of 18,
• Proof of income for ALL members of the household (this includes any minor children). Examples: W2’s, paystubs, SSI/SSD, pension FIA/DHS, child support, self-employment, signed and notarized letter from who is helping you financially, etc.
• 2021 Federal and State tax returns for all adults, if filed (if are not required to file a tax return, the adult must complete a Michigan Treasury Form 4988 Poverty Exemption Affidavit and IRS 4506-T and can provide W2’s, social security statements, or any other document that proves the past year’s income),
• Proof of residency for all minors in the household (such as FIA Statement, Report Card, Transcript, minor listed on tax return, etc.)

When will my debt be paid off?
Click here to monitor your balance and/or request a receipt.

Can I sell my home if my debt is paid by this fund?
Yes! The goal of this program is to stabilize housing for Detroiters and build economic opportunity in Detroit. The debt is paid free and clear; there is no lien placed on the property.

Will my ownership of the property be at risk if my debt is paid by this fund?
No! The goal of this fund is to keep Detroiters in their homes. The debt is paid free and clear – you maintain ownership.

What are HOPE and PAYS
The Homeowners Property Exemption (HOPE) program is a City of Detroit program that helps low-income homeowners eliminate or lower their CURRENT year property taxes. The Pay As You Stay (PAYS) program is administered by the Wayne County Treasurer’s office and reduces back taxes owed by homeowners who have been granted a HOPE. You must be granted a HOPE in order to be eligible for PAYS.

What if I have applied for the HOPE program but haven’t received an approval letter yet?
Interested residents should call 313-224-3030 to confirm eligibility.

What if I applied for the HOPE (HPTAP) program previously but not 2022?
Due to state legislation, if you were previously approved for the HOPE/HPTAP program, please call 313-224-3030 to confirm eligibility.

“The service that Wayne Metro provided was very life-changing for me due to having no income in 2017 and holding onto faith that God would provide. I survived getting hit by an SUV and multiple surgeries. I’m grateful to God and the people he used, such as Wayne Metro. I know it is hard for you to be without a home, food, or a job. However, you must stay strong and know that there are wonderful people out here willing to help you. For two years I was living in a place with no income and now I can say that I live in a home, debt-free thanks to Wayne Metro.”

Ready to get started?

Book your intake appointment today!

(313) 244-0274

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