Catherine Lennon’s husband died of cancer and Bank of America began foreclosure proceedings on their house in Rochester, N.Y. soon after. A group called Take Back the Land helped her stay in her house for 7 years. Then Fannie Mae took over the loan and began to evict the residents last March. At that point, Catherine had 11 of her extended family living in the home which she was squatting in.
“Take Back the Land blockaded the home for two weeks, preventing the family from being forced out. It ended with a police team physically evicting them and arresting seven people, including a 70-year-old neighbor still in her pajamas.”
Take Back the Land is a group founded by Max Rameau who is a controversial activist who wants to change the way the public views housing issues. Rameau says, “We are challenging corporations’ right to own thousands of homes that they keep vacant while human beings are left homeless. The fundamental purpose of housing should be to house humans. Right now, housing is a corporate profit center.”
The group claims that the squatters they place in the foreclosed homes are to treat the neighbors with respect, maintain the property, and hook up and pay for utilities. This way the value of homes in the neighborhood will not be driven down.
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