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70-year-old faced eviction, community devised ingenious plan to give her a permanent home

The elderly woman now owns the house where she was living thanks to the hardwork of the community.

70-year-old faced eviction, community devised ingenious plan to give her a permanent home
Cover Image Source: Facebook I @Save Miss Linda's Home

Linda Taylor, a 70-year-old from Minneapolis, was given two months' notice to vacate the home she had cherished for almost two decades. The thought of leaving her beloved house was both terrifying and heartbreaking. "It felt like the world had been pulled from under me," she told The Washington Post. "My house means everything to me."


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by @savelindashome


 

Taylor bought the house in 2004, but got caught in a real estate deal she didn't fully understand. The house reverted to the previous owner, who allowed her to stay as a renter. In 2006, after the owner became involved in a mortgage fraud scheme, the home was purchased by Greg Berendt, the current landlord who is now trying to evict Taylor.

In 2022, Taylor's new landlord shocked her with an unexpected notice to vacate by April 1. Berendt offered to sell the house for $299,000 and threatened her with eviction if she didn't buy it. "I could not sleep, I could not eat. I felt really defeated,” said Taylor.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by @savelindashome


 

She worked at a local nonprofit organization for nearly three years before she was laid off during the coronavirus pandemic. After losing her paycheck, she continued paying rent of $1,400 a month exhausting all her life savings, money from family and government subsidies including RentHelpMN, a program started during the pandemic to aid Minnesotans at risk of losing housing. She said to herself, "I'm going to do something about it. This is my house."

Taylor had a good bond with her neighbor Andrew Fahlstrom, who lived across the street. A housing rights organizer by profession, the 41-year-old heard the struggles related to the house and decided to assist her in some capacity. He said, "She has always been the one in the neighborhood who greets everyone." He contacted neighbors to see what they could do to help Taylor.



 

Soon, word spread about a campaign to save Taylor's house. The Powderhorn Park community stepped in and was determined to stop their neighbor from getting displaced. A strong force of 400 neighbors joined the movement and wrote a letter to Berendt. They were able to get a June 30th deadline at a slightly less negotiated rate of $250,000.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by @savelindashome


 

With the deadline set for purchase, it was time to fulfill the financial requirements to buy the house. Starting from Block parties, art galleries and social media campaigns, everything was done to spread the word about the cause and help bring funds to the table. The community even started a fundraising page where people donated anywhere from $5 to $15,000. However, the largest donation came from a local church that decided to pitch in $200,000 to the cause which made a massive difference in the end. Within four months, the community raised $275,000 for Taylor, which was enough for her to buy the house. The remaining funds were used to cover repairs and some went towards pending utility payments.

By the end of May, Taylor was able to sign the purchase papers, making the house finally hers after nearly two decades. "When it's yours, it gives you a different type of feeling," Taylor said. "I'm safe, I'm secure, and I have a home...I'm here to help the next person and the next person and the next person."



 

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