Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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She was about to be evicted from her home of 20 years. Her neighbors came together to buy it for her

Linda Taylor was devastated when her landlord told her she had two months to vacate the Minneapolis house she had proudly called home for nearly two decades. “It felt like the world had been pulled from under me,” the 70-year-old told The Washington Post. “My house means everything to me,” Taylor revealed that although she originally bought the house in 2004, she signed it back over to the previous owner when she started falling behind on payments, falling prey to a real estate deal she didn’t understand. She has rented the home for about 15 years since then.

neighborhood in 2006 after the previous landlord was caught in a mortgage fraud scheme that affected more than 45 homes, including hers—sent her an unexpected notice, asking her to move out of the house by April 1, 2022. He planned to sell the property and asked for $299,000, a sum Taylor could not afford. “I could not sleep, I could not eat,” she said. “I felt really defeated.” Taylor, who lived alone in the two-bedroom house, worked at a local nonprofit organization for nearly three years before she was laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, Berendt reportedly raised her rent twice and let repairs and maintenance issues linger

xAt the beginning of 2022, Taylor’s landlord, Greg Berendt—who purchased the white stucco home in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood in 2006 after the previous landlord was caught in a mortgage fraud scheme that affected more than 45 homes, including hers—sent her an unexpected notice, asking her to move out of the house by April 1, 2022. He planned to sell the property and asked for $299,000, a sum Taylor could not afford. “I could not sleep, I could not eat,” she said. “I felt really defeated.” Taylor, who lived alone in the two-bedroom house, worked at a local nonprofit organization for nearly three years before she was laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, Berendt reportedly raised her rent twice and let repairs and maintenance issues linger.Despite losing her paycheck, she continued paying rent—about $1,400 a month—using her savings, money from family and government subsidies like RentHelpMN, a program launched during the pandemic to help Minnesotans at risk of losing housing. So when Berendt told her he would evict her if she didn’t buy the home or leave, it was like “a stone had just dropped on me,” Taylor said. Despite her distress, she was determined to fight for her home. “I’m going to do something about it,” Taylor remembered telling herself. “This is my house.”

credit New York Times

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