January 26, 2013

20 hour sit-in at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office comes to an end

Community victory creates path toward eviction moratorium

A 20-hour sit-in at the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office came to an end this afternoon. Home defenders met with both Sheriff Dan Staton and County Commissioner Jeff Cogen to address bank induced foreclosures and evictions. The sit-in ended when Sheriff Staton and Commissioner Cogen agreed to the three demands that the home defenders presented as a path toward moratorium on foreclosure evictions. This is the first time Commissioner Cogen and Sheriff Staton have gone on record supporting the idea that a moratorium on evictions is a solution to the foreclosure crisis.

Home defenders consider this a significant victory in the fight to keep families in their homes and hold banks accountable, though this is only the beginning, as long as there are evictions, the community vows to continue the fight.

For the past year those contributing to evictions have passed the buck of responsibility in addressing unfair and fraudulent foreclosures. In the meantime homeowners have been thrown out on the street and have had little recourse to challenge the legality of their foreclosures. What’s worse, the Sheriff’s office has carried out these evictions by storming homes with dozens of armed deputies and police officers.

Home defenders took a stand in confronting the Sheriff directly after a year of stagnant conversations and public appeals. Once the group took direct action, the conversation quickly shiftedfrom pointing fingers toward solutions that keep families in their home, specifically a moratorium.

During the meeting with the home defenders, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton and Multnomah County Commissioner Chair Jeff Cogen agreed to the three demands that the home defenders presented as a path toward a moratorium on foreclosure evictions.  
  • Sheriff Staton and Commissioner Cogen agreed to publicly support creation of a path towards moratorium on evictions.
  • Sheriff Staton and Commissioner Cogen agreed to work with Judge Nan Waller to develop a legal path toward a moratorium. During the press conference, Sheriff Staton was on his way to a meeting with Judge Waller to discuss development of next steps in this legal process toward halting foreclosure evictions.
  • Sheriff Staton has committed to be personally present at each foreclosure eviction to make sure there is no excessive use of force against our communities. The Sheriff has committed to prioritize the county’s scarce resources toward pursuing foreclosure fraud and irregularity over forceful foreclosure evictions.
The housing justice community will continue to defend homes and work with more families to publicly fight their evictions.

No comments: