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Moms Experiencing Homelessness Forcibly Removed from Vacant Property

A group of Black mothers experiencing homelessness were forcibly evicted from a vacant home by police in riot gear in Oakland, CA.


A group of Black mothers experiencing homelessness were forcibly evicted Tuesday from a vacant home by police in riot gear in Oakland, CA. 

The women belong to Moms 4 Housing, a self-described collective of “unhoused and insecurely housed mothers organizing to reclaim vacant homes from real estate speculators.” 
 
The group first occupied a vacant house in Oakland beginning on November 18, 2019. The moms say they asked the property owner, real estate company Wedgewood, to allow them to purchase the home through Oakland Community Land Trust. Wedgewood instead offered to pay for two months of housing in a shelter. 

Wedgewood, which is known for flipping houses throughout the area, later served the mothers an eviction notice, but the group stayed in protest. On January 14, Alameda County police arrived in riot gear and with armored tanks to evict the group. 
 
Around 50 protestors arrived Monday afternoon in support of the mothers, who were reportedly aware that police could eventually arrive. Police arrested four people— two moms and two activists, who were released Wednesday on $5,000 bail each.

Oakland’s per-capita homeless rate increased by 47% between 2017 and 2019. In 2019, Oakland officials counted more than 4,000 people experiencing homelessness. 

The cost of living in the city outside of San Francisco, where affordable housing is also vanishing, is only increasing. Median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oakland is $2,320 a month, while the median yearly income in Oakland is approximately $40,000. About 17.6% of the city’s population lives below the poverty line.  

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