Housejacked: A homeowner held hostage
As Californians struggle with foreclosure, those who still own their homes might be facing other struggles. Take Oakland resident Opal Palmer Adisa. She is a homeowner whose tenants refuse to pay their rent or leave. She says she tried to enter her home, which is still full of her furniture and belongings, only to be dragged away and arrested by police. She says she has tried to reason with her tenants, and to legally regain her home, but in the meantime she is losing her home to foreclosure. So on July 13, Opal began fasting in protest of California housing laws that she says unfairly privilege tenants and displace homeowners. Opal Palmer Adisa tells us her story in this commentary.
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August 4, 2011
OPAL PALMER ADISA: We all know about slumlords, the exploitive owners of large buildings that they poorly maintain, and that are, invariably, unsafe. We've heard countless stories of tenants who have been treated badly, taken advantage of by unjust, predatory, or large corporate landlords.
Now I find myself asking: where are the counter-stories? Where are the news stories about the tenants who trash houses? Where are the stories of the small landlord who gives a family a break, then lives to regret it when the people don’t pay their rent? Where is the righteous indignation against the tenant whose failure to pay forces the landlord into foreclosure – and who then picks up the place for a song?
I've never asked myself these questions before. But, I recently returned from an academic year abroad to find my house – the place where I raised my children – essentially “housejacked” by people...
Read the full transcript