A grandmother in the East Bay managed to stop a private equity firm from buying the home she was living in with the help from a new state law inspired by the Moms 4 Housing movement.
“It really makes me feel good that I can see the results of a bill that I carried,” said State Senator Nancy Skinner.
She referred to SB 1079, which says foreclosed homes must be sold one at a time, in order to prevent speculators from buying up foreclosed homes in bulk.
“This house was so important to me,” said Jocelyn Foreman, a formerly homeless grandmother with little savings to beat out speculators who wanted to buy the foreclosed home in Pinole. “It was important because it was my opportunity to break cycles for myself and for my children.”
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The law also gives tenants or non-profits 45 days to find the money to either match or exceed a winning bid. Foreman had to come up with the money fast.
“We had three weeks to get $600,000 dollars,” said Francis Mcllveen of Northern California Land Trust.
So she started Jocelyn’s Corner – a community fundraising effort with the help of the Berkeley Public Schools Fund. On Friday, Foreman signed an agreement with the Northern California Land Trust.
“It will become a community land trust home. this house will be permanently affordable both to Jocelyn and for everyone that comes after her for the next 198 years,” said Mcllveen.
But this was a unicorn case. Skinner said that for SB1079 to help more low-income families at risk of losing their homes, the state needs to fund the law.
“I’m going to do my best this year to try to get funding so that we can support people doing this,” she said.