Homeless Women Take Over California Home, Gain Support

“Hey hey, ho ho, luxury housing has got to go”

Some California law makers say they support a group of homeless women who have been living illegally in a vacant three bedroom home since November.

What We Know:

  • Recently Moms 4 Housing, a collective formed to support the Oakland women, interrupted a news conference on legislation to boost housing construction Tuesday at City Hall, shouting “affordable housing now”.
  • The protest highlighted real estate investors who some say are driving up housing costs in the expensive Bay Area. The women say they are also protesting developers who throw up distressed homes and leave them empty
  • Berkeley Senator, Democrat Nancy Skinner said “I want to thank Moms 4 Housing for taking that house and demonstrating that nowhere, nowhere should there be a vacant house anywhere in California when we have the housing crisis that we have and it was totally legitimate for those homeless moms to take over that house.”
  • The women said they took over the home because they were unable to find affordable housing in an area where, high paying tech jobs exacerbated income inequality and a housing shortage.
  • They are awaiting a final ruling from a judge on whether they can stay, although Alameda Superior Court Judge has ruled in favor of the property owner, Wedgewood Inc. Spokesman for Wedgewood, Sam Singer, said they bought the house for $501,000 days after the women moved in.
  • Dominque Walker, 34, one of the women squatting in the home said “housing is a human right. I pay bills there. I pay water, PG&E, internet. We live there. We want to purchase the home…it needs to belong back in the hands of the community. It was stolen through the foreclosure crisis.”
  • Assemblyman Ash Kalra, a Democrat from San Jose, said Tuesday that elected officials need to ensure “opportunistic landlords” don’t “keep our homes vacant”.

Singer says, Wedgewood will continue with it’s eviction proceedings against the women if the judge rules in the company’s favor.

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Dominique Browder is a Digital Intern at UnmutedCo.

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