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Homeless Mothers Retake Vacant Oakland Home from Real Estate Speculators
by Moms 4 Housing
Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
Wedgewood Investments Kept Home Vacant for Over 18 Months
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[All photos and captions below by @sassmasterdeane]


Oakland, Calif., -- Today, two homeless mothers born and raised in Oakland reclaimed possession of a vacant investor-owned property in West Oakland. The mothers, Dominique Walker and Sameerah Karim, are the founding members of Moms for Housing, created to address the extreme challenges working mothers face in finding safe and affordable housing for themselves and their children.

The Moms for Housing have announced their intention to remain in the home until it is returned to the Oakland community. Their supporters are surrounding the home, and will remain in place until the transfer of the home to community control has been negotiated.

The home was foreclosed upon and then purchased by Wedgewood Properties, a self-described “leading acquirer of distressed residential real estate” which also “manages bulk quantities of non-performing and re‑performing residential whole loans purchased from banks.” Since 2017, Wedgewood has kept the renovated property vacant. The home includes 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.

“There are four times as many empty homes in Oakland as there are homeless people,” said Sameerah Karim, one of the Moms for Housing. “Why should anyone - especially children - sleep on the street while perfectly good homes sit empty?”

The Moms for Housing hosted a housewarming party at 2928 Magnolia Street beginning at noon on November 18. Supporters were invited to join in and help prevent the Moms for Housing from being removed from their new home through non-violent direct action and community solidarity.

“This home was stolen from the Black community in the subprime mortgage crisis, and it’s been sitting vacant for nearly years,” said Dominique Walker, a Mom for Housing. “We tried working through the system to find affordable housing. We both hold down multiple jobs and take care of our families. But this system doesn’t work for people; it only works for banks and corporations.”

The Moms for Housing will be hosting political education workshops, live-streamed from the home, on Twitter at @Moms4Housing and Facebook at Moms4Housing, and offering live updates on their safety and support needs. Supporters can text 510.800.7810 to join the Moms for Housing coalition.

“The Moms for Housing are taking this house back on behalf of the Oakland community,” said Walter Riley, civil rights attorney. “But they need your support. Visit moms4housing.org to get involved. Together we can take Oakland back from the big banks and real estate speculators. We need a new paradigm in thinking about private property. The financial system doesn’t work for working class people. Our whole outlet has to change, and this is the first step.”
§Pastor Cherri Murphy
by Moms 4 Housing Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
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At morning press conference, Pastor Cherri Murphy says: return vacant homes to the community!
§Carroll Fife
by Moms 4 Housing Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
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90% of West Oakland neighbors surveyed said they want to see vacant homes be made available to homeless families. #MomsHouse is common sense - there IS enough housing! #HousingNOW @moms4housing is moved in at 2928 Magnolia Street, come out and support!
§Cat Brooks
by Moms 4 Housing Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
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@CatsCommentary says this is a call for solidarity - community needs to come out and support this real solution to the homelessness crisis. 2928 Magnolia - bring a housewarming gift 🎁
#MomsHouse #HousingNOW @moms4housing
§Civil rights attorney Walter Riley
by Moms 4 Housing Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
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Walter Riley says “This is the start of a new idea....companies are keeping properties vacant to ensure higher rents....creating tremendous misery in the world!” @moms4housing
is rising up and taking over! #MomsHouse
§Moms4Housing co-founder Sameerah Karin
by Moms 4 Housing Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
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Sameerah Karin: “I was born & raised in Oakland. I work 3 jobs, and I can’t afford to live in my city. This is the best thing I’ve ever done. This is my home. I was born and raised here. I deserve to be here.” Calls for community to support #MomsHouse
§Moms4Housing co-founder Dominique Walker
by Moms 4 Housing Monday Nov 18th, 2019 7:31 PM
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Dominique Walker, co-founder of @moms4housing has been a community organizer in Oakland since the age of 14. She’s a powerhouse y’all.

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