Saturday, November 13, 2010

No One Leaves: campaign to protect tenants in foreclosed properties

Project Coordinator Malcolm Chu and team members
I lived in the same house for thirty years and it was supposed to be mine someday-- another post, another time-- but that dream fell apart and three times I experienced the shame and terror of having men in suits stand outside what I thought of as my house and bid on the mortgage in public auction.

Today the No One Leaves Coalition hit the streets for the first time and brought the bad news of foreclosure to forty Springfield residents.  We got the foreclosure notices from the Springfield newspaper and other public documents.

"Do you know that the house you live in is being foreclosed by the bank?"  Some did; most didn't.  A few people didn't open their doors; some houses were already empty.

But we weren't only bringing bad news, we were also bringing information about what it means to be a tenant of the bank-- whether as renter or former homeowner-- and inviting people to a meeting to find out more about their rights-- and, for the homeowners, maybe a chance to buy their home back from the bank.

We're modeling our work on the excellent model created by Boston's City Life/Vida Urbana.  Check out the video to find out more, and if you want to get involved in helping bank tenants stand up for themselves,  call Arise for Social Justice at 413-455-3829.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Piece Michaelann. You left yourself out of our team though! Looking forward to continuing to build with you.