Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf talks with women from the group Moms 4 Housing outside of City Hall in Oakland, Calif. on Jan. 7, 2020.
Photo: Jeff Chiu (Associated Press)

That’s the spirit.

Here’s some corporate and civic kindness for MLK Day.

On Monday, Moms 4 Housing announced that it had struck a deal with Oakland’s Mayor Libby Schaaf and housing developer Wedgewood Properties to sell the vacant Oakland house, located at 2928 Magnolia Street, to them.


The agreement follows last week’s eviction and arrests of several homeless mothers who used it as a residence for nearly two months.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the group of mothers known as Moms 4 Housing took their children and started living in the vacant West Oakland home back in November.

The grassroots social activist group repeatedly called on Wedgewood to negotiate a deal so the mothers could purchase the property through Oakland Community Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that acquires land and property for affordable housing.


Under the agreement, the price of the home should not exceed the appraised value.

The Southern California-based Wedgewood Properties has reportedly rehabilitated and sold 160 homes within the past decade.


The firm also reportedly paid half a million dollars for the property at a foreclosure sale last July and took possession in November, two days after the mothers moved into the house.


The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office issued an eviction of the mothers in a predawn operation with cops showing up armed with riot gear and armored vehicles with several arrests made that day.

With such excessive force, you would’ve thought these helpless black women were in the middle of conducting a mass shooting.


But these were people of color, so it’s business as usual.

The incident amplified growing tensions surrounding the city’s housing and homelessness crisis.


The newspaper reports that Oakland had a 47 percent increase in homelessness in just two years, and 3,210 homeless people are unsheltered.

The agreement is “progress that everyone should agree is a step in the right direction in helping to address Oakland’s homelessness and housing crisis,” Wedgewood spokesman Sam Singer told NBC News.


In a statement provided to The Root on Monday afternoon, Mayor Schaaf pledged her support for this effort:

Homelessness will end when all of us – residents, developers, protesters and politicians alike – work together to end it. That’s why I applaud the Moms 4 Housing for raising awareness of the [devastating] impact the housing crisis has had our working mothers and families. I also appreciate Wedgewood for agreeing to change the way they do business in Oakland. Giving the Oakland Community Land Trust the first opportunity to buy housing and remove it from the speculative market is one part of a larger solution – and it will take a relentless effort from all of us to continue to protect families from displacement and produce more affordable housing. I support a legally enforceable Mandate to End Homelessness that puts new accountability measures on local agencies so every Californian can know that their government is using all of its power to end this humanitarian crisis.

Hailing from "the thorough borough" of Brooklyn, Mr. Daniels has written for The New York Times, Associated Press, CNN, Essence, VIBE, NBC News, The Daily Beast, The New York Daily News and Word Up!

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