Publications

- March 1, 2020: Vol. 32, Number 3

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Mi casa is too costly: Affordable housing poses challenges for investors, developers and communities

by Reg Clodfelter

“We’ll be back,” said Moms 4 Housing co-founder Misty Cross, before getting into an Alameda County Sheriff’s van in January 2020. The arrest marked the end of a two-month standoff in which a group of mothers who were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless occupied a vacant home in Oakland, Calif. The home, which is one of 5,898 vacant homes in the city, according to the latest census data, was recently purchased by Wedgewood, a real estate investment company. Videos of the arrest went viral, putting the San Francisco Bay Area once again at the center of the affordable-housing crisis that, like the members of Moms 4 Housing, refuses to go away.

Even though the arrest and eviction came after an Alameda County judge ruled the women had no legal right to occupy the home, Wedgewood has struggled to garner sympathy when its downside, a major loss on a half-million-dollar investment, is compared with the prospect of mothers raising their children without a home. Real estat

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