Buy Back / Occupied

The Detroit Land Bank Authority provides a pathway to homeownership for people living in land bank-owned houses through the Occupied Properties programs. Hundreds of Detroiters have already become homeowners by completing the DLBA’s Buy Back program. Buy Back engages occupants directly, connecting them with financial and home improvement educational opportunities designed to support buyer success. Every occupant of a DLBA-owned property has the opportunity to apply for Buy Back before the property is moved to the Occupied Non-Profit or Occupied Sales Bundle pipelines.

Buy Back Roadmap

Contact Us

Call (313) 974-6869 to identify yourself as an occupant of a DLBA-owned property. The Buy Back team will follow-up with you to start the vetting process.


Attend Buy Back Office Hours to find out which eligibility documents you will need to submit. All documents must be hard copies. Buy Back Office Hours are Wednesdays from 9:30 am - 11:30 am and Fridays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at 500 Griswold St, Suite 1200, Detroit, MI, 48226


If you qualify, the DLBA will contact you to schedule a home inspection within one week of receiving your eligibility documents. The home inspection will determine if the house is structually sound and safe for occupancy. The property must pass inspection to move forward in the Buy Back program.


You will attend a free Home Preservation course and take a financial assessment with a DLBA non-profit partner. The class will outline the basics of the Buy Back process, budgeting, creating a bank account, and more.


The purchase price is $1,000 for all Buy Back properties. The Buy Back team will reach out to you by mail or phone with an invitation to a pre-closing event. Be sure to respond to the invitation and bring: a valid state ID or driver's license and a cashier's check or money order for $1,000 made payable to the Detroit Land Bank Authority.


You will attend four free workshops during the year-long compliance period. Topics include money management, home improvement, foreclosure prevention, debt reduction, and more.


Once you've met all the requirements, the DLBA will invite you to complete the program and attend an exit event. You'll use the year’s escrow savings to pay your first tax bill, and you'll leave the event a homeowner with the deed to your property. You must pay property taxes in full to receive the deed.


The DLBA will release its legal interest in the property and end monitoring. You may receive a follow-up phone call after the first winter tax season.

Properties occupied by people who do not qualify for Buy Back may transition to the Occupied Non-Profit (ONP) program. Through ONP, the DLBA aims to increase neighborhood stability by selling occupied properties to Community Partners or 501(c)(3) partners. The DLBA’s non-profit partners are required to offer occupants the opportunity to participate in supportive services for homeownership. Non-profit partners must also renovate the property and offer the property to the occupant for sale, rent, or land contract. ONP partners do have the legal ability to remove ineligible occupants and find eligible occupants. Partners who retain existing occupants will receive a discount on the purchase price.
Occupied properties will be offered to the occupants first through Buy Back. If occupants are ineligible for Buy Back, the property may be offered to an Occupied Non-Profit (ONP) program participant. If a property is not sold through Buy Back or ONP, the DLBA may sell the property as part of an Occupied Sales Program (OSP) bundle. Request for Proposals will be posted through Bid Sync for bundles of three properties. Buyers must renovate the houses and offer the properties to the existing occupant for sale, rent, or land contract. OSP buyers do have the legal ability to remove ineligible occupants and find eligible occupants. Buyers who retain existing occupants will receive a discount on the purchase price.

For more information about the Occupied Properties programs email [email protected] or call (313) 974-6869 to speak to a Client Services representative.