Students Mobilize to Help Tenants Displaced Due to Foreclosure
Law and college students from several Boston colleges and universities intend to take part in walking the streets of Hyde Park, Dorchester, and South Boston to inform tenants of their rights to their homes. This campaign aims to focus on the 28 zones in Chelsea and Boston, which have the most number of foreclosures. It is also a level-up version of the efforts of the Jamaica Plain Group City Life.
Tenants have rights and they can actually fight eviction even after foreclosure; they are just not well-informed. In fact, according to housing advocates, tenants do not even know that they have a right to a judicial hearing before getting evicted.
With the growing number of foreclosures in Boston, students see the need to help evicted tenants. Law students volunteer at Boston Housing Court, write emails and visit schools, and recruit volunteers and coordinators from several colleges. Those who take part in the advocacy are the following: Harvard Law, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, New England School of Law, Tufts University, Simmons College, and Suffolk University.
Law students believe that it is unfair to evict tenants now that the economy is quite unstable. They hope that by educating tenants on fighting eviction will persuade lenders to permit tenants to stay in their homes while finding new owners, to maintain the house themselves, or to sell to former owners or tenants.
One distressed homeowner intends to join the students’ activity because she has been trying to survive in her single-bedroom home with a $950 per month rental. She has declined a $2,000 offer from Fannie Mae and she is now waiting for the lender to take it to the court. She is fighting for her right to pay rent and she recognizes the initiatives of the students as an inspiration to older people.
A great amount of student participation can make a difference. By simply educating tenants of their rights to their homes even after foreclosure can help minimize eviction.