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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Bayview Woman to Break into Her Foreclosed Home, Reclaim it

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM

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  • Reclaiming what's yours
The list of places being occupied by people who are mad as hell is growing. Justin Herman Plaza has been taken over by an encampment of OccupySF protesters, and others are lining Market Street by the Federal Reserve Bank to protest "corporate greed." A couple weeks ago, organized squatters took over the vacant Cathedral Hill Hotel on Van Ness Avenue to make their point that the empty housing could be a nice place for the city's homeless.

And this morning, a retired sheriff's deputy in the Bayview District will be reclaiming her former home in a neighborhood that's been plagued by a staggering foreclosure rate. One organizer told us Supervisor John Avalos, who is running for mayor, and OccupySF protesters will join the retired deputy for the first take-back of a foreclosed home they've seen in the city -- although though similar actions have happened in Oakland and Los Angeles.

Essentially, she will be breaking into her old home.


"There are people who've volunteered to move into the yard," says Grace Martinez, an organizer with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. "And if push comes to shove, we're building a home defender network to help defend the house, in whatever shape that may look like ... is it breaking the law when people broke the law in giving her the loan?"

Organizers won't release the owner's name until today's event, but Martinez told us that the sheriff's deputy was forced into early retirement by a work-related injury and took a predatory loan to save her house while waiting for her worker's compensation to kick in. She ended up losing the house at 1479 Quesada, which her family had built and lived in for 50 years. 

Martinez of ABC says that there are 11 homeowners on a two-block stretch of Quesada that are in default or have already lost their homes. That's an extremely concentrated example of what's happened across District 10, where 3,500 homes have been foreclosed on. The Quesada neighbors have started a informal homeowner's association to fight the perpetual foreclosures.

"You don't see these in the Marina, you see them in the Bayview and the Excelsior," Martinez says, adding the homeowners now have found solidarity with the Occupy movement. "There's been a lot of [talk about the] detachment from the Occupy movement with working-class families. That's not the case, because a lot of families here are figuring out how they can participate on the neighborhood level.

The take-back begins at 11 a.m.

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Lauren Smiley

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