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

Wedgewood, the local best-known real estate investment company for its stand-off role with a group of homeless Oakland mothers two years ago, reportedly described the state-wide peasant eviction practice. A $ 3.5 million reconciliation has been reached with California.

Wedgwood’s core nationwide business includes residential real estate speculation and housing flipping. They explain it On their website, “Buy, Revitalize, and Resell Single-Houses in the United States.” One of the things I bought in 2017 was a home on 2928 Magnolia Street in West Auckland. The housing activist decided to give an example after Wedgwood sat in real estate and vacated for two years in the crisis of local housing and the homeless.

November 2019, homeless mothers and their children Move in and occupy the property, Start the effort they called Mama 4 housing This was intended to highlight the role of real estate speculation in the housing crisis. Approximately seven weeks of legal debate over Wedgwood’s call for the elimination of squatters continued, during which the story received national attention and the mother was widely supported both inside and outside Auckland.

The company was still going and had a sheriff Forced removal and arrest of two mothers In the pre-dawn raid in January 2020. However, the demonstrators made their claim.

“We have been evacuating to his home for 50 days for us and our children,” said then-organizer Dominic Walker. Talk to the New York Times.. “It’s a victory, it’s the beginning, and people are beginning to realize,” Hey, housing is or should be a human right. ” That is an absolute success for me. “

About a year after its occupation by Moms 4 Housing in Wedgwood Sold Magnolia Street House To the non-profit Oakland Community Land Trust, which promised to use it as a haven for mothers experiencing homelessness.

However, in unrelated cases, California sought to crack down on the practice of Wedgwood harassing tenants and expelling them at other properties in the state. and, Eastbay Times reports todayAttorney General Rob Bonta has settled $ 3.5 million with the company, of which about $ 2.75 million will be returned to improperly evacuated tenants.

“In the fight against this epic housing crisis, housing law, especially tenant protection, has become more important than ever,” Bonta said in a statement. “Unfortunately, even in this crisis, some people pursue profits rather than family interests.”

Wedgwood continues to be the major real estate owner in the Bay Area and beyond, and the state cannot sue for turning homes or speculating. NBC Bay Area was looking for To track Wedgewood’s range of local real estate holdings, we came up with at least 125 homes owned through LLC’s web across the Bay Area — last year when the company sold a portfolio of 100 homes to Oakland. The Community Land Trust knows what it has offered, but it doesn’t seem like one nonprofit can buy it.

The NBC has found more than 300 proceedings across the jurisdiction where Wedgwood is an active investor. Most of them are “illegal detainees trying to get rid of tenants or former owners who live in homes that the company recently purchased.” Of these proceedings, 275 were filed in San Bernardino County alone.

Leah Simon-Weisberg, General Counsel for the California Alliance for Community Empowerment (ACCE), told NBC in January 2020: .. They get property, drive people out, and sell them empty. “

One plaintiff, Maria Hernandez, sued Wedgwood in 2016 for trying to drive her out of the house she had rented for many years.

According to Hernandez’s complaint, “Defendant Wedgwood has instructed employees and their agents to proactively clean up the seized homes, and at the same time, until all residents have been evacuated and / or forced. Defendant Wedgwood’s Peasant Eviction Department has instructed employees and agents to refrain from substandard repairs in their property if such pressure tactics fail. Assign to a local peasant eviction lawyer.

These practices may have been exactly what Moms4Housing wanted to get more attention. Dominic Walker, as he learned during the seven-week protest last year, Californian Alliance for Community Empowerment, With a group that organizes housing protests Publish a report on available units In California.

Given the vast investment of Wedgwood, this $ 3.5 million penalty is less than a slap on your wrist. KQED reported Earlier this year, Wedgwood made a “spend” during a pandemic and bought a home, for example, foreclosure. There are at least 276 properties across California.

One of them was a devastated house in Pinole, where former homeless grandmother Jocelyn Foreman lived. The house was lost to a bank after the daughter of the deceased’s former owner failed to pay the mortgage, and Wedgwood bought it at an auction for $ 600,000. Under the new state law SB1079, residents of a home sold to a profiter of a company like Foreman have the right to match the winning bid to buy their home. The Northern California Community Land Trust sought to support Foreman and raise enough money to buy a house and house Foreman there, but enough money to keep her payments affordable. I was skeptical about procuring.

Senator Nancy Skinner said she hopes to establish a state fund to assist homeowners in purchases made under SB 1079. But it doesn’t exist yet.

Image via Moms4Housing

Real Estate Firm That Owned ‘Moms 4 Housing’ House Hit With $3.5M Penalty From State Source link Real Estate Firm That Owned ‘Moms 4 Housing’ House Hit With $3.5M Penalty From State

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