Moms 4 Housing Group Reaches Agreement to Buy Vacant House

1 min
Members of Moms 4 Housing address an agreement they've reached with Wedgewood LLC to buy the West Oakland home they've been occupying since November through the Oakland Community Land Trust. (Sara Hossaini/KQED)

Moms 4 Housing, the group that gained national attention by occupying a West Oakland house, says it has reached an agreement to buy the home through the Oakland Community Land Trust.

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The agreement, announced Monday, comes after a months-long battle between housing activists and Wedgewood Properties, an investment company that owns the contested home.

In November, activists and moms Dominique Walker and Sameerah Karim started living at the home located on 2928 Magnolia St. without permission as a way to bring attention to Oakland's housing and homelessness issues. Attorneys for the activists argued in court that housing is a human right and the occupants' constitutional rights would be severely impacted if they were evicted.

Last week, a judge ruled against the occupants, and they were evicted by deputies from the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Members of Moms 4 Housing spoke about the deal at Monday's sixth annual March and Rally to Reclaim MLK's Radical Legacy. Members of the group say once the sale goes through, they plan to move into the house and make it a headquarters for their movement.

"We will not stop organizing and fighting until all unhoused folks who want shelter, have shelter," Walker said.

Initially, the company refused to negotiate with the group while the mothers were still inside the house. Now, Wedgewood Properties says it will negotiate the sale of the home with the Oakland Community Land Trust.

In addition, Wedgewood spokesman Sam Singer has confirmed that the company will give the right of first refusal to Oakland's Housing and Community Development Department and the Oakland Community Land Trust for any properties it plans to sell in the city. According to Singer, the company owns approximately 50 properties in the city.

Carroll Fife, director of Oakland Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a nonprofit that supported Moms 4 Housing, called the agreement "a huge step."

"What they're doing is conceding to the pressure that's been put on them by this movement," Fife said about Wedgewood.

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