The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Detroit:
Living without Water

Apr 11, 2016

Last year, Detroit shut off water service to 23,300 homes. That is one in every nine homes in Detroit! This means thousands of people are living without water in this city, which is supposedly “coming back.”

Yes, many homeowners owe on their water bills, but not nearly as much as businesses and government-owned properties. Homeowners owed 26 million dollars – compared to 41 million dollars for other properties, mostly businesses. Yet only 1 in 37 of the city’s non-residential water accounts got shut off.

If they wanted money to run the water system, they would target the businesses and institutions that could afford to pay. Instead, they target poor people who can’t.

Along with tax sales and school closings, this is just one more city policy that drives poor people out.

Of course the city rarely shuts off water to businesses – that’s who it serves! And it’s serving them once again with these water shut-offs, clearing the neighborhoods of poor people, and handing the land over to real estate developers.