Flint residents at risk of losing their homes over unpaid water bills

Flint Municipal Center
Flint Municipal Center(WNEM)
Updated: May. 8, 2017 at 2:37 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) - If tainted water wasn’t enough for residents to deal with in the ongoing water crisis, some are at risk of losing their homes for not paying for the water.

The city of Flint has put thousands of homeowners on notice for tax liens if their outstanding water bills are not paid in full.

Ryan Loree, Camp Promise organizer, is speaking out against the more than 8,000 tax lien notices the city sent out last week.

“That’s the biggest thing right now that we are here to protest,” Loree said.

The city said if homeowners do not pay their bills by May 19 property liens could be transferred to the tax bills, which would leave people at risk of losing their homes.

Camp Promise is a group that has been camping out in Kearsley Park for weeks demonstrating against the crisis.

“It’s not fair at all. Why should Flint residents pay for something that is poison? We wouldn’t pay for the wells in our homes to run if there was poison coming out of them. So why should Flint residents be forced to,” Loree said.

City officials said despite having issues with the water, they are still cleaning the water and providing a service to its residents.

Scott Kincaid, with the Flint City Council, is also advocating against the liens.

“I think it’s wrong. I mean, the mayor doesn’t pay her water bill. Until we make an issue about it and now she wants to put liens on people’s properties instead of work with them to get them to pay their water bill,” Kincaid said.

The mayor’s office did not respond to TV5′s request for comment. However, Loree hopes Mayor Karen Weaver hears his message.

“Hopefully it brings enough awareness to where people wake up and understand that this is still going on here in Flint,” Loree said.

In a statement last week, Weaver said she understand the concerns raised and her office is working to help those affected.

If a property owner does not pay by May 19 they would have until February 2018 to pay the balance before losing the property.