Evicted women say they have a 'right to housing'

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (January 14, 2020) — Four homeless women ordered by a judge last week to leave a vacant house they illegally occupied in Oakland were evicted before dawn Tuesday by heavily armed sheriff's deputies in a case that highlighted California's severe housing shortage and growing numbers of homeless people.

Alameda County Sheriff's deputies, some dressed in military-style fatigues, escorted the women from the home and bound their hands with plastic ties as dozens of community activists on the sidewalk chanted “Let the moms go! Let the moms go!” and recorded the chaotic scene with their cell phones. Video showed one deputy slamming a battering ram against the house's front door.

“They came in like an Army for mothers and babies," Dominique Walker, one of the mothers, told reporters. “We have the right to housing. This is just the beginning.”

The women and their children moved into the three-bedroom house in November, partly to protest the methods of speculators who they have claimed snap up distressed homes and leave them empty despite California's severe housing shortage and growing numbers of homeless people.

Federal officials said last month that an uptick in the country's homeless population was driven entirely by a 16% increase in California, where the median sales price of a home is $500,000 and is even higher in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Patrick McKinney ruled last Friday the women did not have the right to stay and had to leave within five days. McKinney had previously issued a tentative ruling in favor of Wedgewood Inc., the real estate investment group that bought the Oakland property at a foreclosure auction last year.

Still, McKinney allowed lawyers for Walker, and her recently formed collective, Moms 4 Housing, to make their case. They argued that housing is a right and that the court must give the women the right to possess the house, especially because it sat vacant for so long and because the alternative would be to send the women to live on the streets.

Wedgewood in a statement it was pleased “the illegal occupation of its Oakland home has ended peacefully.”

 

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

The media’s worst moments so far during the Senate impeachment trial are…(choose up two answers)

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

  Trump vs. Bloomberg: Fortunes collide in pricey knife fight
  Trump: Mideast peace plan likely rolled out in days
  Questions linger over investigation into Jeff Bezos' hacking
  China confirms 1st death outside epicenter of viral outbreak
  'Sopranos' actress says Weinstein raped her in the mid-1990s
Democrats face risks in Trump's impeachment trial
Lee to pitch sweeping abortion bans in Tennessee

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Trump Senate impeachment trial live updates: Dems focus on 'abuse of power'
CNN anchor hits out at 'Trumpers' over Greta Thunberg — gets quickly reminded of his network's settlement with Covington teen
Soros in Davos: 2020 election will determine 'fate of the world'
Trump to be first president in history to speak in person at March for Life
Church says thieves rifled through member's coat during service, stole vehicle from parking lot

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Trump vs. Bloomberg: Fortunes collide in pricey knife fight

NEW YORK (January 23, 2020) — They are circling each other like wary boxers, with taunts on Twitter, snarky asides and belittling descriptions. They rose to prominence in Manhattan on parallel tracks, amassed wealth real and perceived and displayed a penchant for putting their names on things.