Activists from City Life/Vida Urbana gathered to protest the auction of a Jamaica Plain home on January 14.
According to Asticou Martinwood South Street Neighborhood Association (AMSNA) member Chuck Collins, over 25 neighbors gathered at 302 South St. to help R.J. Manchester save his home from going to auction. Manchester and Jami Rogers have been trying to sell this condo for two years. A young couple had made an offer, had a home inspection done, and were finalizing a purchase and sale agreement, according to a release from ASMNA.
“When the real estate attorneys contacted the Rushmore Loan, representing US Bank NA, however, they allegedly declined to postpone the auction,” the release states. He added that the purchase price would cover any obligations to lenders.
“We have a neighbor who has lived in our community for 18 years—who because of a health emergency is being forced to sell his home,” Collins said. “We will call on the bank to allow the sale to go forward.”
Manchester “suffered a health catastrophe” a few years back, causing him to lose his eyesight on and off for months at a time, the release said. “During his multi-multi-year health emergency, he lost his law practice and livelihood.”
“No one should lose their home because of a health emergency,” Collins said.
After the protest, Collins told the Gazette that US Bank refused to call off the auction. The potential buyers also came out in support that no one would bid.
“We walked a picket line in front of the house,” Collins said. Everyone chanted “If you buy this house, you buy resistance,” he said. He also said that they asked potential bidders to refrain from doing so, and “probably four or five bidders got in their cars and left.”
Collins said the auctioneer arrived and made a bid. “At that moment, Manchester and the young couple—who had not met before—conferred on the corner,” Collins said. The couple offered higher than the auctioneer, and the auctioneer turned away.
Manchester will have to move in the near future, and “what money he might have made from the sale evaporated at the auction,” Collins said. He said that Manchester and his 16-year-old dog do not know where they are going. “But he was grateful for our support,” Collins said.
A phone call made to Manchester by the Gazette was not returned by press time.