Woman: Forced to live alongside squatter in my Detroit house - New York News

Forced to live alongside squatter in my Detroit house, woman says

Posted: Updated:

By Taryn Asher
FOX 2 News Reporter

DETROIT -- Heidi Peterson always dreamed of living in a historical home.  In May of 2010, she bought one in Detroit's Boston-Edison District for $23,000.

After being away for a year, she said she returned to her house last week and found a woman living there.  Peterson learned from neighbors she had been living there for a few months.

Peterson claims the squatter changed the locks, reworked the plumbing, replaced her appliances, put a lien on the house and even changed the curtains, and now this squatter won't leave.  So now they are forced to sleep one room away from each other, Peterson with her one-year-old daughter.

The alleged squatter's name is documented all over the house as Missionary-Tracey Elaine Blair, a write-in candidate for president.

We asked Peterson whether she feels safe.

"I don't know what the capabilities are.  We're afraid of her mindset of entitlement."

A squatter doesn't have a legal right to the property, but under the law the homeowner cannot remove a squatter by force.  In most cases, the homeowner has to file a civil action in court, prove it's their property and evict the squatter.  That is what Peterson is trying to do.

"She thinks that this is a program in Detroit to take people's homes and fix them up and then she gets to keep them," Peterson said.

Since Peterson spent all of her money on the house, she said she can't afford to go anywhere else, and until she can legally kick the woman out, they are forced to live under the same roof.

"I thought if the house is not safe, how can I come here with my child?  There's an issue with that.  But should I lose my house to a squatter because I don't have rights to my property or should I fight to get it back," said Peterson.

As our story was going to air, we had a chance to talk to the alleged squatter.  She denied that she was squatting and said she has a lease.

"I have a construction lien for the repairs that I put into the house.  Someone had (broken) into the house on July the Fourth and they stripped the radiators and I made a report," she added.

"In February 2011, we had to vacate because the boiler was damaged," she continued.  "I took all my books and my writings, but my (furniture was) still left in (there)."

We also asked her whether she thinks there is a program where anybody can go into Detroit, take over an abandoned house and live there.

"I'm an advocate for affordable housing.  That's a part of my campaign," she said.  "I've believed that since the first time I met her when I was running for state Senate (in) 2010 and she was also running for a political office, that was a part of my belief.  I signed an oath pledging that I would fight for affordable homes."

We're told Peterson leased the house to tenants in 2010, including this alleged squatter, but had to evict everyone when it was found not fit to live in.

We're also told the alleged squatter filed papers with the city claiming the property was abandoned.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • NYPD identifies woman wanted for baby snatch attempt

    NYPD: Woman tried to snatch baby in stroller

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:36:31 GMT
    Police want to question a woman who tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. The incident occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 4 p.m. on Thursday. The 8-month-old baby was not harmed. People who were in the area jumped in to stop the woman before she took off southbound on 8th Ave., according to police. A sketch was released on Friday of the suspect.

    Police are looking for a woman who tried to push a stroller with a baby inside away from a nanny in Chelsea. Police have identified the suspect as Tara Anne McDonald, 46. The attempted kidnapping occurred on 8th Ave. and 17th St. at about 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, police said. People who were in the area jumped in to stop McDonald before she took off southbound on 8th Ave., according to police.


  • Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Basil farm ready to switch to marijuana

    Friday, April 18 2014 4:11 PM EDT2014-04-18 20:11:50 GMT
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
    Basil plants grow on a New Jersey farm, but the facility could be turned into a five-acre medical marijuana greenhouse with only 48 hours' notice. The hoses from the state-of-the-art Dutch hydroponic system are watering flowers now, but with a few minor adjustments could just as easily grow marijuana plants for medicinal cannabis. The only reason it's not happening now is because the company is publicly traded and subject to federal law.
  • Driver-less cars highlights at NY Auto Show

    Driver-less cars highlights at NY Auto Show

    Friday, April 18 2014 1:46 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:46:00 GMT
    The future is here when it comes to vehicles. The auto industry has packed nearly 1,000 automobiles into the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan's West Side for the 2014 NY Auto Show.   Among the 'must-sees' is a hydrogen-powered vehicle and a prototype with cameras that allow you to see the ground underneath as you drive over it.
    The future is here when it comes to vehicles. The auto industry has packed nearly 1,000 automobiles into the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan's West Side for the 2014 NY Auto Show.   Among the 'must-sees' is a hydrogen-powered vehicle and a prototype with cameras that allow you to see the ground underneath as you drive over it.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices