The eviction against the squatters Moms 4 Housing, the group that broke into and is illegally occupying 2928 Magnolia St., Oakland, will be heard tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 30. The judge has tentatively ruled in favor of the home’s owner, Wedgewood Properties, in the case.
According to Wedgewood, the “Moms 4 Housing” case is a straightforward situation: The squatters broke into Wedgwood Properties’ home at 2928 Magnolia St. “They have no legal or ethical defense for their actions,” said Sam Singer of Singer Associates Public Relations in San Francisco, which represents the property owner.
Wedgewood purchased the property July 31, 2019, for $501,078. Wedgewood plans to renovate and rehab it as soon as possible and put it back into the housing market, thereby improving the neighborhood, the community and the city, he said.
“Thus, claims by the group that Wedgewood has been holding this house, or any other homes, vacant are false. The company is in the business of buying, renovating, and quickly selling homes to first time buyers. It does not “hold homes vacant,” Singer said.
Wedgewood has told this blogger it is sympathetic to the plight of the homeless and is a major contributor to shelter programs, inner-city youth, and the disadvantaged. The company hears and respects what the individuals illegally occupying the Magnolia Street home are saying–but it does not respect nor does it condone the theft of its home, according to Singer.
Wedgewood says it gets its funding from people and institutions of all sizes and economics, small and big. By attempting to steal this home from Wedgewood, these squatters are harming others like themselves whose money was used to purchase this and other foreclosed and distressed properties. Wedgewood’s success is based upon renovating distressed homes and selling them to first-time buyers. The company helps create housing in Oakland and across the West that assists individuals and families to become homeowners, he added.
“It should also be noted that the squatters are hurting at-risk Oakland youth: Wedgewood has an agreement with a non-profit, Shelter 37, founded by a two-time Super bowl champion James Washington, to share in the profits of the rehabilitation of the home–as well as provide job training to at-risk Oakland youths as part of the home’s restoration,” Singer said.
“Wedgewood takes no pleasure in seeking law enforcement to evict the squatters. Wedgewood requests the squatters peacefully and voluntarily depart the home,” he added.
This past Thursday, Dec. 26, Oakland City Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Nikki Fortunato Bas demanded Wedgewood negotiate to sell or give the property to the squatters and the Oakland Community Land Trust. The following letter was sent today by Wedgewood to the Oakland City Councilmembers:
“Dear Council President Kaplan, Councilwoman Bas:
“Wedgewood’s position is clear and has been consistent from the beginning: We will not meet or negotiate with the squatter’s organization that broke into our house and is illegally occupying it. Wedgewood is sympathetic to the concerns of homelessness, but we will not consider discussions until after we are in peaceful possession of our house.
“Wedgewood’s success is based upon renovating distressed homes and selling them, in many instances to first-time buyers. We help create housing in Oakland and across the West that assists individuals and families to become homeowners.
“Wedgewood gets its funding from people and institutions of all sizes and economics, small and large, to renovate and sell these homes. By attempting to steal this home, the squatters are harming others–like themselves–whose money was used to purchase this and other foreclosed and distressed properties, renovate them, and sell them to first-time home buyers.
“The squatters are also directly hurting at-risk Oakland youth. Wedgewood has an agreement with a non-profit, Shelter 37, founded by a two-time Super bowl champion James Washington, to share in the profits of the rehabilitation of the Magnolia Street home–as well as provide job training to at-risk Oakland youths as part of the home’s restoration. We would hope, that as Oakland Councilmembers, you would support training, skills and paychecks for at-risk youth and local tradespersons who will benefit from our renovation of this home.
“Lastly, we are deeply concerned that you are encouraging criminal activity, in this instance the theft of people’s property. The squatters broke into our house, are illegally occupying it, and are threatening violence. Yet you support this activity by your words and deeds and threats against us.
“We respectfully request that you encourage lawful and thoughtful behavior from the squatters you are supporting and encourage them to voluntarily leave our house at 2928 Magnolia St. We take no pleasure in seeking law enforcement to evict them, the legal path we are on. We would much prefer if you demonstrated the leadership which one expects of elected officials and ask the squatters to obey the laws and depart voluntarily.”
So far, Moms 4 Housing has not responded to this blogger’s requests for any press release it has.