Occupy Our Homes

As readers of this blog likely know, today is the national kick-off for a new phase of the occupy movement intended to tackle the problem of vacant bank-owned homes and defending families under threat of foreclosure and eviction. Actions are expected to take place in more than 20 cities across the country on Tuesday.

Here’s just a short list of what’s going on:

A Brooklyn, NY action will involve walking through a neighborhood “on the front lines of the economic crisis.”

In Los Angeles In Los Angeles, two area families are refusing to leave their homes after their banks foreclosed. Community members, union members, and activists are expected to set up encampments at the families’ homes to “demand that their banks return the homes and properly evaluate them for a loan modification.”

In Minneapolis Neighborhood Organizing for Change, Occupy Minneapolis, community groups, and neighbors will defend homeowner Bobby Hull, a former Marine and Vietnam vet, who has lived in his home with his family for over 40 years. Health problems have caused him to fall behind in his payments.

Several Atlanta actions are being held at foreclosure auctions in order to keep families in their houses for the coming winter months.

While not a specific action, In Philadelphia, where there are 40,000 vacant and abandoned lots, a quarter of which are owned by the city, the Garden Justice Legal Initiative (GJLI) at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia provides legal representation to community gardeners and urban farmers, and as such, supports the use of vacant and abandoned lots for gardening and community and entrepreneurial food production. GJLI founder Amy Laura Cahn writes a highly thoughtful piece on why she supports the Occupy our Homes effort.

We want to hear from you if you’re taking part in any of these actions. Please comment here or write to: letters@nhi.org

(Photo: ©Kelly Creedon)

Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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