City Life protests foreclosure eviction

April 27, 2012
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(Gazette Photo by Rebeca Oliveira) Protesters picket outside Heather Gordon’s Mendell Way home on April 20.

EGLESTON SQ.—JP residents and local activists picketed outside a Mendell Way home in a City Life/Vida Urbana-organized eviction blockade on April 20.

The homeowner facing eviction, Heather Gordon, was granted a 30-day eviction delay by a bankruptcy court later the same morning.

“This has been the fight of my life, to keep this roof over my family’s head,” Gordon told the Gazette just after a still-empty moving truck drove away.

“This is a prime area for gentrification. We will not be gentrified,” City Life organizer Melonie Griffiths told the crowd through a bullhorn, leading the picketers.

Gordon lives with her elderly mother, her adult son and his young children.

Gordon maintains that the foreclosure was improperly handled and is not legal. She has filed for bankruptcy, which would stop her creditors from repossessing any of her goods.

“I’ve done everything in my power to stop this illegal foreclosure,” Gordon said. “We are being crucified by these banks.”

According to Suffolk County records, the mortgage title holder is Huntington National Bank. City Life also named that bank as the mortgage holder in their flyers.

But Huntington National Bank spokesperson Matt Samson told the Gazette that Huntington National does not own the mortgage. A follow-up call was not returned.

“Often times the titles are not properly filed,” said City Life organizer Brandon German, which can lead to many complications.

She filed for bankruptcy the morning of her eviction, giving her a 30-day stay from creditors. She was back in bankruptcy court April 24.

Gordon addressed the picketing crowd after returning from court, telling them she bought the house in 1992, “when it was a crack house.” She spent months in renovation, finding hidden guns in the process.

“I want the banks to recognize that we are working-class citizens,” Gordon said.

City Life is a bilingual housing rights organization, formed in JP in 1973, known for direct action.