Approximately 35% of Americans are likely to lose their homes in the near future if the government fails to intervene. Meanwhile, history has taught us that Wall Street thrives in times like these and is ready to grab up our land and homes when the foreclosure moratorium is lifted. To prevent Wall Street firms from creating artificial scarcities like they did in 2008 by buying thousands of homes and keeping them vacant, Sen. Nancy Skinner introduced SB 1079 to reduce land grabs resulting from foreclosure auctions.
We helped add a significant new section to the bill that gives it some actual teeth, and it could be a huge win for tenants, land trusts, local governments, and real estate cooperatives. In brief, if a home is not purchased at auction by someone who will be living in the home (i.e., it’s purchased by profiteers who plan to flip it or manage it as a rental), then there will now be a 45-day hold period in which tenants, potential owner-occupants, nonprofits, cooperatives, and others can purchase the property by either matching or exceeding the auction’s winning bid!
We worked with the California Community Land Trust Network. a coalition of more than 30 community land trusts throughout California, to advocate for the funding of the Home for Homeowners, Not Corporation Act. We signed on to their demand because we believe that homes are for communities, not corporations. Thanks in part to the success story of our client Jocelyn Foreman, which highlighted the need for acquisition funding, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law in July 2021 providing an additional $500 million for SB 1079 foreclosure acquisition funding. That's half a billion dollars!
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