July 15, 2008
Another victory in the movement for housing justice was won this morning, as once again a multinational bank backed down from a post-foreclosure eviction. CountryWide Loans, a subsidiary of Bank of America, foreclosed on the home of Paula Taylor in Roxbury. Paula offered to pay market rent directly to the bank, but they refused and pursued an eviction. They told her to move out on June 30.
Paula decided to fight back and called City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU), a housing rights organization campaigning against foreclosures. Paula is demanding the right to stay in her home and will not move out as long as the bank is the owner.
"Either someone will buy who wants a tenant or, if someone who buys the home wants to move in, I’ll move out without a fight," she said. "But I am taking a stand based on principle that I will not move out without a fight as long as the bank owns the property."
Explained Paula, "I feel very strongly against what is happening to me and to others throughout my neighborhood."
When the constable issued a 48 hour notice of eviction, Paula and CLVU went to work organizing an eviction blockade. Volunteers stood in the back and front entrances, some prepared to be arrested if necessary. A support rally in front of the property featured speeches from City Councilor Chuck Turner, CLVU tenant organizer Steve Meacham, and Paula herself. An ACE group attended the rally, and will be reaching out to foreclosed homes in Roxbury as part of CLVU's city-wide campaign against evictions.
Halfway through the rally, Steve Meacham announced that the bank had decided to back down, and would not be coming to evict Paula today. The crowd pledged to return for another blockade if the bank comes back in the future.