Police allow squatter to remain in Detroit woman’s home

Squatter Tracey Elaine Blair 
By: David Ross 

(Scroll down for video) A young Michigan mother, bought her dream house so she can live there with her one-year-old daughter. In May of 2010, Heidi Peterson bought her historical home in Detroit's Boston-Edison District for $23,000.

Peterson was away from the house for a year. When she returned to her house last week, she found a black woman living there.

The squatter, Tracey Elaine Blair, is an educated woman, a writer, an advocate for affordable housing and was running for government office in 2010. The woman also knows the laws well.

According to neighbors, this squatter lived in the house for a few months. She brought in her own furniture, and has pictures of herself and her missionary certificated proudly displayed in the house.

The rightful owner, Peterson, claims that the squatter changed the locks, fixed the plumbing, replaced her appliances, changed the curtains and put a lien on the house against all the money she put into the house that she does not own.

According to Michigan law, a squatter cannot be forced out of a house if they lived there for a while. The owner has to go to court and prove ownership of the house, then legally evict the squatter.

The squatter filed papers with the city claiming that the property was abandoned.

"I have a construction lien for the repairs that I put into the house. Someone had broken into the house, stripped the radiators and I made a report,” squatter Tracey Elaine Blair said.

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

Peterson has used all her money to buy the house, and does not have money left to rent an apartment elsewhere, nor does she have money for a lawyer to help her get the squatter out. For now, she and her young daughter are forced to share their house and sleep one room away from the squatter.