By Bria Brown

DETROIT (AP) — A property tax assistance program has granted more than 10,500 property tax exemptions to eligible Detroit homeowners and officials are still reviewing hundreds of other applications.

The exemptions come under a program that provides an opportunity for homeowners to be exempt from their current year property taxes based on household income or circumstances to help them avoid the possibility of foreclosure.

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The city approved 9,089 property tax exemptions last year.

“This program has one purpose and that is to help keep Detroit families struggling to pay their property taxes in their homes and to take away the fear of foreclosure,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a news release.

Applications for exemptions have increased as the city works to reach eligible homeowners who need assistance, officials said.

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The city expanded the program last year to offer 25% exemptions in addition to the 50% and 100% property tax exemptions already offered to applicants. That increased the number of Detroiters eligible for financial support who otherwise would not qualify for assistance.