Linda Taylor was given two months’ notice from her landlord to vacate the Minneapolis house she has proudly called home for nearly two decades. The 70-year-old initially owned the house, but she sold it when she fell prey to a real estate deal she didn’t understand, and has rented the home for about 15 years.
… Earlier this year, Taylor received an unexpected notice from her landlord to leave her home by April 1. Her landlord wanted to sell the house and was asking for $299,000 — a sum Taylor could not afford. She lost her job and her paycheck during the pandemic but continued paying rent — about $1,400 a month — using her savings, money from family and government subsidies.
… When Taylor’s landlord told her to vacate she was crushed and decided to share her struggle with a neighbor, works professionally as a housing rights organizer. He contacted neighbors to see what they could do to help Taylor. As word of the grass-roots campaign to save Taylor’s home spread around the block, neighbors were eager to help. Organizers sent a letter to the landlord, urging him to wait on eviction and start negotiations with Taylor so she could buy the house. It was signed by about 400 neighbors and hand-delivered to the landlord, who agreed to let her continue renting until June 30. He lowered the sale price to $250,000 — still out of reach for his tenant.
… Organizers created a campaign site and a fundraising page, bringing in donations in amounts of $5 to $15,000. A local church gave the largest sum — $200,000 — carrying the effort to the finish line.