Stopping the selling of their homes
Peter Barclae, the Oakland County developer not only refused to make good on his promises, but also tried relentlessly to evict them. He claimed all their payments were for renting. But after he got a Singapore-based company, Midas, to start selling their homes, 40-plus people braved the pouring rain to protest at Midas’ office in Pontiac.
Channel 2 and other media showed up as the group provided Midas evidence of Barclae’s illegal bait-and-switch. Within hours, Midas had removed all the homes from its listings.
Confronting Mayor Duggan at a District 5 Detroit meeting
On September 25, at a District 5 Detroit meeting, a group wearing new T-shirts showing their support for Gratoit -McDougall families got Mayor Duggan’s attention in their crusade to stop the unjust evictions.Detroit had given taxpayer money to Peter Barclae, a failed developer from West Bloomfield, to build affordable homes in the Gratiot McDougall area.
Confronting Mayor Duggan.
The Mayor agreed they got a “raw deal” and says he’ll do whatever is in his power to help them get justice.
Barclae ploys foiled in Court
Barclae kept insisting the $40,000 – $70,000 he’s collected from these homebuyers was only “rent” and they were “tenants.” The homeowners sued to stop this arrogant breach of contract, enforce their right to buy the homes, and save their neighborhood from the blight that will follow if they are evicted.
Supporters joined them at a June 20 hearing where the Judge was so surprised by Barclae’s marketing of homes in dispute that she delayed the company’s demand for escrow.
Subsequently, on July 25 and Sept. 5 the families fought back against bogus motions to evict them so the developer could sell their homes. Each time supporters were there to back them up. Barclae’s various attempts to evict failed in court.
The happy conclusion
In the end, the Gratiot McDougall families won the right to buy their homes. The determination of the families — and with the support of DED — and their willingness to publicize their stories was key to their success.