Catherine Griffin-Lennon wins victory for right to housing


Catherine Griffin-Lennon, an embattled citizen of New York State, won a significant victory against Bank of America who foreclosed her home in Rochester, New York due to mortgage arrears in 2008.  Last week she was given back the deed to her home.

Griffin-Lennon tried to catch up on the mortgage and straighten out legal entanglements but Bank of America refused to accept her payments. Activists learned of her case in March 2011, and began a “community defense” against eviction. Protesters, some of them chained to her porch, twice turned back a city marshal bent on eviction. When the marshal returned in late March with a large contingent of Rochester police, he succeeded in putting her out — but only after five members of Take Back the Land Rochester and two neighbors had been arrested.Defiant, Griffin-Lennon moved back in on Mothers Day in May 2011. Fannie Mae made several more attempts at eviction, but the activists and lawyers from Empire Justice Center helped fend them off. At least one eviction effort was blocked by a court order.

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