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Erin Rhoades

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ANNOUNCEMENT: We have a new partner in Jocelyn's Corner! The Northern California Land Trust has joined us on our journey and in our efforts! As a result, we can get this done with $100,000 instead of our previous goal of $600,000! It is Jocelyn's service to others and the outpouring of support from her community that helped the Northern California Land Trust recognise this opportunity. THANK YOU!
Check out the new issue of KQED podcast, SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing In America for a deeper understanding of Jocelyn's struggle for housing justice. HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT!



 

Jocelyn’s Corner - ARE YOU IN? 

 

Join us in disrupting corporate land grabs, stabilizing housing for communities in the long term, all while lifting up a legend and a legacy in Berkeley. Jocelyn is a mother to five girls, grandmother to 3, and she has been serving Berkeley Unified School District for over 20 years. For ten of those, she has dealt with housing insecurity.

 

“Whatever the barrier for a family, it is my aim to remove that barrier”. – Jocelyn Foreman

Jocelyn is a family engagement and equity specialist, which means that her job is to make sure families have what they need so that their kids can get to school and learn. This includes:

  • Making resource rooms in BUSD schools so kids have shoes, clothes, bags, and any number of other things that help them have what they need.
  • Bringing the Berkeley Food Network to the public schools as a mobile food pantry so families have the food they need when school is closed.
  • Creating a social services navigation system to help teachers and families get what they need called Circles of Support.

 

Stability means she has more to give

Some of the best work she’s done has been while her housing is stable. The monumental undertaking of bringing the food pantry to the entire school district happened while her housing was stable. The BUSD community needs her now more than ever as schools re-open and families need help navigating the new world of post-Covid schooling.

 

Using SB 1079 for the purchase of this house makes stability possible.

The home Jocelyn currently rents is in foreclosure and the transfer of ownership, if she does not assert this new option, is highly likely to result in the loss of her housing.

SB1079 gives the current renter of a foreclosed property the option to meet the property’s highest bid at foreclosure auction.

This is a bill that was fought for by Moms4Housing, an activist group of mothers who occupied a house in West Oakland to point out the rampant property speculation going on in the Bay Area that has led to four empty housing units for every person living on the street.

 

This is not a case of charity. This is justice. This is ground-breaking history.

In an interesting twist, Wedgewood, the company who owned the Moms4Housing house and fought them every step of the way in making change and passing SB 1079 is the same company who bought Jocelyn's house and drove up the bidding price to $601,000.

Unfortunately, when Nancy Skinner sponsored the legislation in California, there was no funding allocated to accompany the bill.

 

This means Jocelyn has to come up with $601,000 in cash by April 15.

How many people do you know who have had that much money to put down for their first house?

To address this challenge, the CA Community Land Trust Network (CCLTN) is leading SB 1079 funding advocacy work, and Jocelyn’s lived experience illustrates the need for SB 1079 acquisition funding. 

 

SB 1079 needs a human face, and it needs a map for success. 

Jocelyn's success story can be used to illustrate the need for funding of the bill and compel elected officials to fund future SB 1079 property acquisitions.

A purchase using SB 1079 allows legal advocates for housing rights like the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) and partner organizations to study the process to work out any challenges AND develop training for community members looking to exercise the option.

SELC is being contacted frequently with requests for education and training around this legislation. (They've already identified a loophole that is being promoted in the real estate world as a "SB 1079 work around.")

By placing the property with a community land trust AND/OR permanent real estate cooperative, it will be co-stewarded in partnership with Jocelyn and will be permanently removed from the speculative market. Jocelyn, in turn, will have ongoing support to maintain the property that puts her in the driver’s seat.

California leads the way with progressive solutions to nation-wide challenges. This bill and its success will be used as a model for other states!

 

And this is how Jocelyn operates: in addressing the needs of one, you can address the needs of many. 

 

It is true to her calling. Support her, and all boats rise. Plant her feet, and everyone grows.

 

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