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News :: Human Rights : Race
Rally to Stop Eviction of Family Home in Dorchester
19 Apr 2008
Modified: 09:14:26 PM
Boston, Mass - On April 16, residents and supporters rallied at 200 Norfolk Street in Dorchester to stop the eviction of the Meyers family from their home. Living in the house are 4 brothers and sisters as well as 6 children. There is also a licensed day care center in the building. Before the morning rally US Bank and Premier Asset Services backed off their planned forced eviction. The Banks have finally agreed to negotiate to try to settle the matter. The organization City Life/Vida Urbana plans to continue fighting evictions.
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Steve Meacham, Tenant Organizing Coordinator for City Life/Vida Urbana wrote to the rally supporters that same day:

"Our march was strong and spirited. Rep. Allen, Councilors Turner and Yancey, and Mike Kelley from the Mayor's Rental Housing Resource Center attended. We marched to Dorchester Ct., where we produced a list of Bank eviction cases that had been filed just this week - about a dozen - 34 in Boston this week alone, not including E. Boston. We pledged to reach those people and add them to our movement.

"We have said all along that we have the ability to change bank behavior on a fairly vast scale through fighting these evictions after foreclosure. With your most excellent help, we still plan to do that."

A Boston City Council hearing will take place on Wednesday, April 23, to discuss the Just Cause Eviction Legislation, which would would prevent financial institutions from emptying properties after foreclosure if tenants are paying their rents.

Post-foreclosure evictions is a financial decision that banks have been putting into practice in order to avoid the responsibility of servicing tenants living on foreclosured property. However, the property is being sold at a fraction of what it cost, while at the same time depriving hundreds of families of shelter.

"Thus industry practice is not only depriving Boston of housing that is desperately needed but also putting people into the streets whose only fault is that they happen to live in a building that is being foreclosed. Where is the justice in that?" commented Councilor Chuck Turner, a sponsor of the legislation, on his website.

City Life/Vida Urbana has been working on preventing financial institutions like Deutsche Bank of evicting families who have been at no fault for the buildings foreclosure, meaning, who are being evicted regardless of paying rent in full and on time. They hope that the Just Cause Eviction Legislation will do just that.

[all photos by Jonathan McIntosh]
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