Neighbors 'Rallied' Together To Save Resident From Eviction And Keep Home Of 20 Years

Jun 22, 2022 by apost team

Imagine living in your very own home for almost two decades, when suddenly you are told that you can no longer live there anymore. That’s exactly what happened to Linda Taylor, a 70-year-old woman who has lived in her Minneapolis, Minnesota home for the past 18 years. Earlier in January 2022, she received a notice from her landlord saying she had two months to vacate her premises in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood.

As it turned out, Taylor’s landlord Greg Berendt was planning on selling the two-bedroom house for $299,000. If Taylor wanted to keep her home, she would need to fork up the cash. If she couldn’t, then she would be evicted. The 70-year-old recently worked at a local non-profit organization but was laid off during the pandemic. However, she could still pay the $1,400 a month rent payment by using her savings and money from government assistance.

Taylor felt like she was at a complete loss. “It felt like the world had been pulled from under me,” she told the Washington Post. “My house means everything to me.” Nevertheless, she was determined to do whatever it took to keep her home. Thankfully, she wasn’t in the fight alone.

Several Powderhorn Park residents came together to organize a campaign and build a fundraising site to help get enough money to donate to Taylor so she could finally buy her home. One person in particular was housing rights organizer Andrew Fahlstrom, who lives across the street from Taylor.

As a community, the group spread the word about Taylor’s situation and helped her get the funds she needed to try to reclaim the property that she felt belonged to her.

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According to the Washington Post, Taylor purchased the house back in 2004 but fell behind on payments and ended up signing it back over to the previous owner. Her old landlord was later caught in a mortgage fraud scheme, resulting in Berendt buying the property. However, her rent doubled, and maintenance issues piled up. Taylor wanted to own the home but said she kept running “into a ton of different walls.”

The neighborhood sent a plea to Berendt in February asking him to wait on eviction, and the landlord did so and even lowered the asking price to $250,000. “People listened to what Miss Linda was saying and wanted to do something,” Fahlstrom said. “It was just such a clear and compelling story that everyone rallied for her.”

Taylor would never have expected the outpouring of support from her neighbors. Several neighbors teamed up to create a campaign site and fundraising page called Save Linda’s Home, where people could donate any amount of money they please. The largest donation came from a local church, totaling $200,000.

After about four months, the Powderhorn Park residents raised $275,000, meaning that Taylor had enough money to buy her home and use the extra to pay for repairs and utilities. The 70-year-old woman was blown away by the kindness of her community. She said:

“I knew my neighbors loved me, but I didn’t know how much.”

Taylor closed on her home on May 31, 2022. Save Linda’s Home organizers shared the happy news on Instagram. “When it’s yours, it gives you a different type of feeling,” she said. “I’m safe, I’m secure, and I have a home.” She added, “It’s been an amazing journey, and it continues on.”

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