Wedgewood Properties spokesman Sam Singer issued the following statement on behalf of the company in response to a post in Oakland News Now by Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan:
The Oakland squatters group Moms For Housing and its supporter Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan, have made many false and inaccurate statements about its break-in and attempt to steal a home belonging to Wedgewood Properties, a Redondo Beach-based company that is one of the nation’s leading acquirers of distressed residential real estate.
Here are the facts:
The property belonging to Wedgewood Properties at 2928 Magnolia St., in Oakland was not “vacant” as claimed by the squatters group Moms For Housing and Kaplan. It was purchased on July 31, 2019 and Wedgewood only gained a writ of possession for it on Nov. 20, two days after the squatters broke into the home and illegally occupied it.
Wedgewood 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 what the individuals illegally occupying the Magnolia Street home are saying–but it does not respect nor does it condone the theft of its property.
Wedgewood has a successful history with the non-profit Shelter 37 in using at-risk youth in training programs to rehabilitate and renovate homes. The company’s offer to partner with Shelter 37 and its respected founder, two-time NFL Super Bowl champion James Washington, is very much real, in writing, and ready to go the moment the squatters depart. Shelter 37 has partnered with an Oakland non-profit and will use Oakland youth on the rehabilitation of the home and will split the profits from its sale with Shelter 37 so that other Oakland at-risk youths can benefit.
Wedgewood is troubled that Kaplan would reject helping Oakland youths who are struggling to get experience and land their first jobs. It is hard to imagine that both Kaplan and the squatters want to directly hurt at-risk Oakland youth by denying them this job. But clearly what Kaplan and Moms for Housing say–and what they do–are two different things.
Lastly, Wedgewood will not sell this home to the Oakland Community Land Trust because it is directly participating with Councilwoman Kaplan, Councilwoman Nikki Bas and Councilman Dan Kalb and the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment to assist the squatters in their illegal break-in and occupation. Wedgewood already has an agreement with Shelter 37 for the home and will keep that agreement to assist Oakland at-risk youth.
It should be noted that at least two of the so called “Moms for Housing” collective members work directly for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, so essentially they are getting paid to break-in to homes and occupy them, something that, neither the Councilmembers, the Oakland Community Land Trust nor the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment seems to care to discuss as it would obviously make this less like a “movement” and more like what the situation really is, a dangerous and illegal publicity stunt.
In conclusion, the solution to Oakland’s housing crisis is not the redistribution
of citizens’ homes through illegal break-ins and seizures by squatters. It’s time for councilmembers Nikki Fortunato Bas, Rebecca Kaplan, and Dan Kalb to actually do something about this very real crisis instead of making false statements and appearing at press conferences.
Personally, I wonder what would happen if the shoe were on the other foot? What if “Moms for Housing” took over the home/apartment of any of these councilmembers? Would the councilmembers support that squatting effort? I doubt it.
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