BlackArthur Displacement Report

Tiny - Posted on 28 May 2016

From Foreclosures to Fires: BlackArthur Displacement WeSearch Report
WeSearchers: Youth and adult poverty skolaz from Deecolonize Academy and POOR Magazine
From March to May of 2016 Blackarthur (MacArthur) suffered the loss of over 110 elder, disabled, families and small businesses to gentrification. Real Estate speculation, city government backroom deals, paper theft, banksters and the endless buying and selling of Mama earth for profit has caused working class, low-income and people of color, mostly African -American communities to lose their long-time homes. Now we are unhoused, Houseless, barely housed or not here at all. And this was just in three months.

To fight this and show our youth how to fight the system set up to destroy, destabilize and steal from us and Mama Earth we poor and unhoused mamas and uncle poverty skolaz at POOR Magazine launched an investigative WeSearch project with the youth going into the places they create these papers that steal our lives and communities, including the County Tax Assessors office, the Tax Recorders office, The Library Archive of “Maps” , the Planning Dept, The Building Dept and City Hall. Then we met with comrades from Oakland Land Trust, Aunti Frances Love Mission, Land Action and many more to see how they have been fighting and resisting.

Our goal with this report is to show the way the system supports, enables and causes the removal of  working class communities and communities of color with the goal of taking it back, creating our own self-determined solutions to housing and land use and ultimately staying in our hoods, barrios, towns and communities.

Oakland Displacements Due to Rent Increases Evictions and Foreclosures
-Over 13,000 homes in Oakland  suffered foreclosure between 2007-2011  
-1 in 5 houses in Oakland were foreclosed on (see illustrated map)
Evictions due to Owner Move-in and/ rent increases
 -Since 2015 there has been a 60% rise in evictions of long-time Oakland residents due to Owner Move-in and Ellis Act evictions ( this is a trick landlords use to evict long-time tenants so they can sell vacant property or raise the rent higher than whats legal 

BlackArthur Displacement: 8000 block of BlackArthur:
-8522 MacArthur (BlackArthur) former home of teacher , musician and healer to so many Val Serrant-Youth -Led WeSearch Findings
-Val is an elder, part of the community that got evicted
-We went to the tax assessor's office and found out that the owner that “owned” the building owned several other properties in Oakland under different names
-The worst part about this is that there is no law against owning multiple properties, or the falsification of names.
Other BlackArthur Neighbors who lost their homes since March
-Donald and many more community skolaz - long-time residents offered small amounts of money to relocate so the owner could “clean-up” the building- now they are struggling with housing instability and the BlackArthur community misses them
-Gena X: lived in their auntie’s home for 46 years only to lose it when the city served “blight” notices on their home and the elders and disabled residents had no help or idea of how to fight them-
-Three families who lived in a multiplex on BlackArthur evicted due to Owner Move-in and no way to fight it.

-7300 Block of BlackArthur - 10 small and very small businesses lost their rental spaces and all of their supplies, and products in a huge and very suspicious fire   

-Frohm's Martial Arts 5864 Foothill Boulevard
   •    -Important, Black-led business and part of the BlackArthur (MacArthur) community
    •    -Bought August 2015 and overnight Frohms was given thousands of dollars in rent increase which were unaffordable for them and they had to relocate out of a neighborhood they helped to transform
    •    Owner who gave them rent increase claimed to be the owner of building, but turns out their name was not registered in the tax assessor's office
- What we found out was that it was owned by the city, which is very suspicious?

Background WeSearch By Youth SKolaz on Paper Trails that cause the theft of our lives, homes and communities

-Tax Lien Foreclosure sales’ The sale of a property resulting from the property owner's failure to pay tax liabilities. A tax lien foreclosure occurs when the property owner has not paid the required taxes, including property taxes and federal and state income taxes. After 6 months without paying of any liabilities you will lose you home.

-What this means is most of our black brown people are constantly being evicted because of not being paid enough to even cover one liability and after that happens somone will be left on the streets thinking what I could of done to prevent this.

A Tax Sale is a public auction of tax deeds and/or tax liens used to recover delinquent real property taxes. That help devilopers getting more income from flipping the houses and getting more money for the actual house was worth and getting profit from a stolen house from some family or a man might be mentally unstable and that house was the only thing that keeps him together and it just got bought and just got sold to another person.

Companies you have to look out for are we buy ugly houses and companies that are involved with flipping houses because every time they buy a house the more developing will happen

What is blight? The visible and physical decline of a property or neighborhood or a city due to a combination of economic downturns.Blight is used against poor, Black and Brown communities. By calling in someone with a blight charge you can cause a small business owner or homeowner to lose their home.

In 2011 a Grand Jury Report found that Oakland's Community and Economic Development Agency used blight code enforcements violations to harass low-income residents for many years while enriching contractors they hired who subsequently returned those favors.

What is the impact of blighting?
Blighting has caused lot's of people and families to be houseless and East Oakland  has lots of mass evictions, blighting.

Real Estate Speculation & WE BUY UGLY HOUSES
“We Buy Ugly Houses”, also known as HomeVestors of America, is a national network of real estate investors. They buy houses, townhouses, condos, duplexes, multi tenant buildings, and also some commercial properties from owners looking to sell quickly for a cash buyout. When you sell your home to We Buy Ugly Houses you’ll pay little or no closing cost, and you can receive your payment in as few as seven days. The company “We buy ugly houses” is involved with real estate investor this shows that they probably aren't as true to you because real estate agents will just want to buy your house for the lowest amount and they will trick you by telling you things like you will not get more money than this from other people. The company will end up selling the house for double from what it originally cost and they will end up making more money than what you would have received.

The history of real estate speculation can be related to gentrification and displacement The reason why it can be related is because real estate agents can buy houses that are in communities that suffer from poverty. People who live in neighborhoods are been gentrify because people like this do not make enough money. so what agents do is buy the place, like for example they can try to buy a whole block and bring up the rent prices this makes people want to move out because they are not able to pay for bills and have extra money to survive. Landlords are also displacing people because they want to raise the rent even more. They know that they can make profit out of others, they will want to try to move the people who are suffering from poverty so others with more money can move in and pay the Landlord even more. This affects our community a lot because it makes our family’s separate and move to other neighborhoods we are not used to living in.

LLC’s Limited Liability Corporations- aka the way real estate snakes hide their snaking against poor & working class homeowners and renters
During the past half-decade, large investors have bought up numerous foreclosed homes in West and East Oakland and have turned them into rental properties that many longtime residents cannot afford. But few landlords own as much property in Oakland as Neill Sullivan, founder of the Sullivan Management Company. In fact, according to Alameda County public records, the Sullivan Management Company currently owns hundreds of homes in the city — nearly all of which are in West Oakland. A limited liability company (LLC) is the United States-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. They use Llc to not get sude for there illegal evictions.

Resistance Tactics for low-income, working class & communities of color renters and homeowners
Adverse possession is a way to get property in your name. In Roman law they allowed someone who owned something without a title to become the replacement for the real owner if the real owner did not show up. The land registration act 2002 (not the year) said that after ten years the adverse possessor would be able to apply for the ownership for the product or property

The way this helps poor and houseless people is that if you occupy an adandoned house, and pay property taxes for five years you can put the paperwork in to own the house. Currently Land Action and the Oakland Land Trust are working on trying to get properties from the City to grant to grassroots, non-profit organizations to ultimately house poor and working class folks in Oakland.

Homefulness- a poor and indigenous peoples self-determined land liberation movement funded entirely through Community Reparations- currently working on a Homefulness project for East Oakland, North Oakland , LA and Salinas. If you are a person with stolen or hoarded wealth please consider enrolling in the upcoming session of PeopleSkool for folks with race, class or formal education privilege to begin the process of redistributing resources to unhoused, low-income and/or 1st Nations people.

Degentrification Zone- Learn how to use the “mans’ paper against them. Landmark zones, Homesteading and legal advocacy as soon as you get any notices of blight, tax liens, evictions, notices or pre-foreclosure, seek legal advice. Starting in June, every Thursday from 1-2pm at Street Newsroom and Sliding Scale Cafe at Homefulness we give para-legal and legal advice on how to stay in your home.

This report was compiled by youth and adult poverty skolaz at Deecolonize Academy’s Revolutionary Journalism class with no funding or grants to teach ourselves how to fight the ongoing the removal of all of us from our hoods, towns and barrios. Deecolonize Academy is a poor mama and uncle -led, arts, science and social justice based school for low-income children and children of color on the sacred land called Homefulness .We  are currently accepting applications for children 4-17 for Fall 2016 semester to enroll or find out more information please email We also offer adult classes at Peopleskool in journalism, book publishing and radio, for more information on adult class please email



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