Homeless Mothers Get Short-Term Win In Eviction Case

All News KCBS Radio
December 30, 2019 - 3:39 pm
Two homeless mothers have been living in this home in West Oakland, although the investment group that owns the property is trying to evict them.

Tim Ryan/KCBS Radio

Two homeless mothers have temporarily beaten back an eviction attempt brought by the property owners of the vacant West Oakland home they have occupied for six weeks. 

At a hearing on Monday — which was packed by the mothers’ supporters — the judge said he will take the matter under submission and rule at a later date, which has yet to be determined.

The mothers, Dominique Walker and Sameerah Karim, are a part of Moms 4 Housing, a group of homeless and marginally housed mothers. They moved into the property on Magnolia Street on November 18, saying they want to call attention to the vacant, investor-owned homes in Oakland and the city’s homelessness crisis.

The house was bought by real estate investment firm Wedgewood Properties for $501,078 at a foreclosure hearing on July 31 and has been vacant for two years.

Attorneys for the women recently filed legal claims asserting their right to live there in response to an eviction notice from Wedgewood.

While the judge issued a tentative ruling against the mothers last week, he said at Monday’s hearing that he would take the matter under submission before he ultimately decides on a ruling. The mothers’ attorneys argued that their occupation is in the interest of justice and is a response to the city’s needs in the midst of its homelessness crisis.

Oakland City Councilwoman Nikki Fortunato-Bas said the possibility of the women staying in the house could be a reality if Wedgewood strikes a deal with Moms 4 Housing and the Oakland Community Land Trust, a nonprofit that buys property and converts it to affordable housing.

Wedgewood said in a news release, however, that it would not meet or negotiate with squatters, adding that it is sympathetic to the homeless.

Written by Mallory Somera