Crowd Waiting for Housing Assistance Turns into Riot


A riot broke out in Detroit over the weekend when a large crowd rushed to collect Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

Reports say the amount of people who showed up looking for assistance heavily outweighed the number of vouchers to be distributed. As the night was fading away and the sun started to shine, the crowd continued to grow as more and more people arrived. According to reports, only 1,000 vouchers were available for distribution. An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 people were in attendance.

When it came time for the vouchers to be distributed, police said there was a mad rush for the door, with people jockeying for position to be the first inside the building. Officers tried to control the crowd, but couldn’t. Fearing the situation was more than they could handle, event organizers shut the entire thing down and turned off the lights inside the building. Witnesses say that’s when things really got ugly…

Additional help was called in from Michigan State Police, who helped Taylor police control the melee and disperse the crowd. Four people were arrested, but police say no one was injured.

Police say the event will be rescheduled, although specific details still need to be worked out.

"Due to the high demand of the Section 8 vouchers, we will meet with HUD Representatives to discuss the series of events, re-evaluate the distribution method and implement a process that ensures a greater level of efficiency and safety," Mary Radamacher, Director of the Taylor Housing Commission, said in a statement.

Some of those in attendance Saturday said they hope organizers will be extra cautious and bring in additional security to insure things go differently next time.

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