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Real Estate Firm That Owned 'Moms 4 Housing' House Hit With $3.5M Penalty From State

SFist - Wedgewood, the real estate investment firm that is best known locally for their role in a standoff with a group of homeless Oakland mothers two years ago, has reportedly reached a $3.5 million settlement with the state of California over its eviction practices statewide.

An operation with national reach, Wedgewood's core business involves residential real estate speculation and house flipping — or, as they describe it on their website, "the purchase, revitalization and resale of single-family residences throughout the United States." One of those purchases back in 2017 was a home at 2928 Magnolia Street in West Oakland, which housing activists decided to make an example of after Wedgewood sat on the property and left it vacant for two years amid a regional housing and homelessness crisis.

In November 2019, several homeless mothers and their children moved in and occupied the property, launching an effort they called Moms 4 Housing that was meant to highlight the role that real estate speculation plays in our housing crisis. About seven weeks of legal wrangling ensued in which Wedgewood sought to have the squatters removed, and meanwhile the story gained national attention and the mothers had widespread support across Oakland and beyond.

Refugee, her daughters, 3 grandchildren face eviction in Sacramento ahead of Thanksgiving

Sacramento Bee - 

A refugee from Mexico and her family are facing eviction from their Sacramento home on the day before Thanksgiving.

“My biggest worry is where am I going to have my grandchildren living,” Eduviges Garcia, 48, said Monday through a translator. “Them becoming homeless makes me really anxious.”

Garcia’s three grandchildren, including a 6-month old and two 5-year-olds, have been living with her in the Mangan Park home, along with her two daughters, her daughter’s partner and her own partner.

 

Opinion: San Diego County needs a majority Latino voting district. It shouldn’t take so long.

San Diego Union-Tribune - Garcia is the policy director at the Environmental Health Coalition and lives in Chula Vista. López is the director of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment-San Diego. He lives in Imperial Beach.

One in three San Diegans are Latino. One in four San Diegans eligible to vote are Latino.

Yet in the last 50 years, Nora Vargas is the only Latino candidate elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

You read that right. One Latino leader in five decades.

Go back a full century — 100 years — and that number skyrockets up to ... two.

It’s a stark and shameful history of political disenfranchisement for a cross-border region that prides itself as home to a vibrant, growing Latino community.

And it’s time to end this injustice by including a majority Latino district in San Diego County’s 2021 redistricting plan. In fact, this is required by the federal Voting Rights Act.

Richmond renter sues former landlord amid pandemic-era spike in harassment

Richmond Confidential - These days Clara Realageno sleeps in her car.

In the morning she packs up her things — a pillow, blankets, a suitcase and some toiletries — and drops them off at a friend’s house so they don’t get stolen while she’s at work.

It’s been five months since Realageno’s landlord evicted her by changing the locks to her studio in Richmond. With nowhere else to go, Realageno now spends most nights in her backseat.

In September, Realageno sued her former landlords, Gabriel and Ibeth Lopez, in Contra Costa County Superior Court, alleging the lock-out was the culmination of months of harassment, threats and intimidation.

New Study from Social Justice Group ACCE-San Diego Finds Stronger Tenant Protections Most Effective in Preventing No Fault Evictions in San Diego County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. 

MEDIA CONTACT

Sylvia Moore, 213-804-4679, [email protected]

New Study from Social Justice Group ACCE-San Diego Finds Stronger Tenant Protections Most Effective in Preventing No Fault Evictions in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO (November 2, 2021) - Eviction moratoriums and strong just cause tenant protections were most effective at decreasing “no fault” evictions and the number of deaths from COVID-19 in San Diego County, according to a new study, Tenant Protections in San Diego County, released today by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment-San Diego (ACCE-San Diego). The study used data contributed by Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD). With the end of California and San Diego County eviction moratoriums in September, it is now more important than ever for cities to pass strong local tenant protections to avoid a new wave of evictions and homelessness, and a rise in new COVID-19 infections.

Inquilinos y activistas exigen que se cumpla la ordenanza anti-acoso en Los Ángeles

La Opinion - Desde el sur de Los Ángeles activistas e inquilinos pidieron el jueves a los propietarios de viviendas de renta que detengan el acoso. También solicitaron al ayuntamiento de la ciudad a que hagan cumplir la ordenanza contra las prácticas que llevan a las personas a ser expulsadas de sus hogares.

El grupo se reunió frente al hogar de Yadira Plancarte, una miembro de la Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE),  quien ha vivido en el 4132 San Pedro Street por 11 años. Plancarte dijo que en el 2019 el edificio de cuatro unidades cambió de propietario y este nuevo llegó con reglamentos extremos.

“Nos dio un contrato del cual no estábamos de acuerdo y ahí comenzó el acoso”, dijo Plancarte, quien es madre soltera.

Antioch councilmembers urging tenant anti-harassment ordinance

FOX 2 KTVU - Two members of the Antioch City Council held a press conference Monday, urging Mayor Lamar Thorpe to include a proposed tenant anti-harassment ordinance and an ordinance requiring just cause for evictions into the next city council agenda.   

Vice Mayor Monica Wilson and council member Tamisha Torres-Walker said the ordinances are necessary to protect low-income renters and historically marginalized communities who are susceptible to harassment, retaliation and evictions during the ongoing pandemic.   

California’s eviction ban ends soon. Here’s how renters can protect themselves

Sacramento Bee - As California’s coronavirus eviction moratorium ends Friday, state officials and community advocates are urging renters to apply now for help from a housing and utility assistance fund that could give them cash to catch up on bills.

The state has billions of dollars to spend from money allocated through a federal pandemic relief law. People who receive support from the program also get extend eviction protections through March.

“Tenants who owe back rent or who will have trouble paying rent on the first of the month should not wait to apply for rent relief,” Department of Housing and Community Development Department Director Gustavo Velasquez said in a press release this week. “The sooner they apply for rent relief, the sooner they will be protected from eviction for non-payment of rent.”