BOSTON/Hyde Park - A family of eight living in Hyde Park was saved from eviction earlier today following negotiations between lawyers with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and mortgage holder Aurora Bank, and a loud, raucous rally sponsored by Jamaica Plain-based City Life Vida Urbana. The reprieve is temporary. Another order to carry out the eviction, which was to be executed this morning by a Boston Housing Court Constable, will more than likely be issued tomorrow, according to City Life organizers.
Herbert St Simon, his wife Naomie, their five children, and his elderly mother, have faced eviction from their home at 29 Charles Street in Hyde Park since late last year. Two eviction proceedings in January were postponed.
This morning, St. Simon requested a Housing Court judge issue a temporary restraining order against Aurora Bank. But the judge refused, according to sources monitoring the court proceedings, after Mr. St Simon was about an hour late getting to a hearing scheduled for 9:30am. If an eviction execution order is issued by the court tomorrow, as expected, the family has two business days to remove their property and leave their home. In effect, they would have until Tuesday next week to find somewhere else to live.
Activists with City Life and Roxbury Environmental Empowerment Program (REEP) vowed to return on Tuesday, if necessary, to block attempts to evict the family. At least four City Life activists said they were willing to risk arrest this morning.
Speaking before a group of about 50 activists this morning in front of the St Simon home, City Life lead organizer Melonie Griffiths said "our movement is not built mainly on anger. It’s built on the love and solidarity you see right here in this eviction blockade. It’s that love and solidarity that allowed us to stop not one, but two evictions today.”
Griffiths was referring to another family, living in Milton, MA, facing eviction today. Marie-Anne Beliard, her sister, and nephew, avoided eviction after her lawyer was successful brokering a deal with Midfirst Bank that allows the family to pay rent and stay in the home until the bank finds a buyer. Boston Community Capital, a non-profit financial organization previously had offered to purchase the home and sell the property back to Ms. Beliard at or near current market rates. Midfirst Bank refused BCC's offer.
A spokesperson for Midfirst declined to speak to Open Media Boston.
This story is a Newsbrief. A more in depth report will be posted soon