Tables Turned on Ex-Motown Star's Rental Property Complaints

Former Motown singing star and now-City Councilwoman Martha Reeves has been a strong advocate of stricter housing code enforcement, but a newspaper says it discovered multiple violations at her own properties.

Inspectors found 25 code violations at one two-unit rental property, including two emergency infractions for lack of maintenance of fire doors, The Detroit News said Tuesday.

Ten of Reeves' 15 vacant lots are deep in overgrown weeds, grass and trees, the newspaper said. It said three contained dumped electronic equipment, clothing, furniture and construction debris.

In a written response, Reeves said she acquired most of the properties "sight unseen" at a state land auction.

"My hope was to help revitalize some of the neighborhoods in Detroit, by building on them, or working with community groups to establish urban greenery areas," she wrote.

Reeves, 64, said she recently hired a new management company and that "improvements are forthcoming."

As part of the Motown group Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, she had hits in the 1960s with "Heat Wave," "Dancing in the Street," "Nowhere to Run," "I'm Ready for Love," "Jimmy Mack" and "Honey Chile."

She was elected in November to a four-year term on the nine-member City Council.