[Hpn] DC Homes Not Jails SQUAT eviction threatened? 12-15-2000 (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 7 Jan 2001 09:24:03 -0800 (PST)

Email updates on HNJ-DC's SQUAT to:

HOMES NOT JAILS DC <hnj-dc@homesnotjails.org>

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FWD  DC Independent Media Center - Friday 15 Dec 2000


     author: Steven Doll <steven@a16.org>

In an escalation of tension at the house that Homes Not Jails activists
have been cleaning and remodeling since Thanksgiving, police and fire
officials visited three times yesterday - though did not reveal their
intentions. (1959 H Street NE)

Activists who are occupying and repairing a formerly vacant house in
Northeast Washington DC face heightened risk of arrest today, December 15
2000. The housing takeover began on Thanksgiving day, a fitting backdrop to
the Homes Not Jails intention to turn the house into a home for a homeless
mother and her three children.

Please come out if you can - 1959 H Street NE

Police and fire department officials visited the house on three seperate
occasions yesterday, observing the scene and questioning the people at the
house. Members of Homes Not Jails barricaded themselves inside the house.
They intend to stay until ownership of the house, which has been vacant for
over 6 years, is transferred to Nadine Green and her family.

After three weeks spent cleaning and fixing up the house at 1959 H Street
NE, Nadine Green and Homes Not Jails are seeking to negotiate with the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development and Smith Barney Mortgage
Company. A local television news program reported that the house was sold
by HUD to Smith Barney Mortgage Company. Saloman Smith Barney is the
financial wing of CitiGroup, and has been criticized by NY housing
activists for the preditory lending practices of subsidiaries of the firm.
Preditory mortgage lending involves making loans at high interest rates and
unfavorable terms in  low-income or black/hispanic/minority communities. A
failed loan leads to a foreclosure, transferring the property to the lender
for a quick and profitable turn-around.

Neither HUD nor Smith Barney have attempted to contact Ms. Green or Homes
Not Jails, thus the ownership of the property is unclear. In addition,
there was a report from the same station that HUD has extended Ms. Green's
Section 8 housing voucher, which otherwise would have expired in late
November. Due to the impossibly long waiting lists for affordable housing
programs, a Section 8 subsidy is currently more wishful thinking than
practical social safety net.

Ms. Green would like to use her Section 8 voucher to purchase the house
through a rent-to-own program, regardless of the owner. She would also like
to negotiate with all involved parties at the house and wants to see all
offers, agreements, and claims in writing.

Green said, "I'm prepared to stay at the house to ensure that my family and
I receive permanent housing."


Contact: Homes Not Jails


WASHINGTON, DC- November 18, 2000

Since 1994, the city government and Control Board have cut $100 million per
year from the safety net for our children, poor, disabled and elderly.  These
cuts included reductions in homeless shelter space, child care,  and drug
treatment programs.  The cuts also eliminated emergency assistance for
families at the edge of eviction, and the Tenant Assistance Program.

The effect of these cuts are especially damaging at a time when a worker
earning minimum wage in the District would have to work over 100 hours a week
to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the city's fair market rate.  The mayor
and city government have made no commitment to raise the benefit level of
welfare recipients above the poverty level, nor have they made proposals to
insure adequate support for their entry into the workforce at a living wage,
with full child care and educational opportunities.

At least 39% of DC's children live in poverty because the TANF benefit with
entitlements is below federal poverty level, according to DC Action for
Children.  This figure may be as high as 60% if children in low income
families not receiving welfare are included.

Even with DC's notoriously cold winter approaching, the city is not providing
adequate shelter for those in need and thousands will face nights on the
street.  Families seeking emergency hypothermia shelter will be forced to
travel all the way to DC Village.  Currently, service agencies are turning
away battered women in need of emergency shelter, because there is none

There are over 18,000 families on the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers, and
almost 10,000 families on the waiting list for public housing.  These families
are often left waiting up to several years for housing.


From: hnj-dc@homesnotjails.org

For updated info., please call 202-297-4430.

if you live in the area, or might be passing thru dc
around then and want info. about this, please call me at 202-332-6558 or

What you can do to help:

1.  Come on out! Stick around.  Eat meals with us.  Show your support for
housing justice by holding a placard, playing football, raking some leaves,
picking up trash, painting a wall, playing with the two-year old, or just
dancing to the music.

2.  Call HUD at 202-275-9206 or 202-275-9200 and demand that they transfer
ownership of the house at 1959 H St. NE to Nadine and her children and allow
them to make it their first permanent home.

3.  Call Council Member Sharon Ambrose at 202-724-8072 and Mayor Williams at
202-727-2980 and demand that they support Homes Not Jails' cause and put
pressure on HUD to turn the building over to the homeless family.

4.  Bring donations.  We need flashlights, batteries, a coleman stove,
BLANKETS, mattresses, spring water, hot beverages, food, toilet paper,
tools, money for building supplies, cups, buckets, and good energy.

5.  Know any good electricians/plumbers?  Please send them our way.

Thank you!

To reach Homes Not Jails: 202-297-4430, or hnj-dc@homesnotjails.org


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