Oakland housing rights advocates, including our grant partner, Causa Justa :: Just Cause had cause to celebrate recently as Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Congressperson Barbara Lee, State Assemblyperson Nancy Skinner and community members held a press conference in support of a Comprehensive Foreclosure Prevention Package. The plan which was approved by the Oakland City Council on October 16th will provide a new means by which tenants and homeowners can receive foreclosure assistance. The package includes:
- Door to door outreach to roughly 3,500 residents in risk of foreclosure
- Referrals to housing counselors and access to legal assistance and a city team that will help advocate on behalf of borrowers to the bank
- Tenant and homeowner rights trainings
- A pilot program called ROOT that will buy back homes for borrowers facing foreclosure and restructure the loans to be fixed rate and affordable
Though parts of this program have been offered by various groups in other places, Oakland is leading in establishing a comprehensive package for threatened homeowners.
We congratulate Causa Justa :: Just Cause and other groups and community members who are responsible for this victory. This win came after many years of organizing and pushing the city to support local strategies to hold the banks accountable. We will stay tuned for more news on this front!