Some California lawmakers said they support a group of homeless women who have been illegally living in a vacant three-bedroom house since November, partly to protest real estate speculators who drive up housing costs in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area.
Moms 4 Housing, a collective recently formed to support the Oakland women, interrupted a press conference on legislation to boost housing construction Tuesday at City Hall, shouting “affordable housing now.”
“I want to thank Moms 4 Housing for taking that house and for demonstrating that nowhere, nowhere should there be a vacant house anywhere in California when we have the housing crisis that we have,” said Democratic Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley. “And it was totally legitimate for those homeless moms to take over that house.”
The women took over the home after they said they were unable to find permanent housing in the Bay Area, where high-paying tech jobs have exacerbated income inequality and a housing shortage. They also say they’re protesting real estate developers who snap up distressed homes, then leave them empty.
They are awaiting a final ruling from a judge on whether they can stay, though Alameda County Superior Court Judge Patrick McKinney has tentatively ruled in favor of the property owner, Wedgewood Inc., a Redondo Beach-based real estate investment group that bought the home in a foreclosure auction last year.