Thursday, January 19, 2012
OWS occupies owned house
Wise Ahadzi said he tried to negotiate with the bank to salvage the house he bought in 2007 for $424, 500, but he was forced to foreclose on the home in 2009, the year he lost his job and stopped making timely, mortgage payments. "I have everything still in there," Ahahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifdzi told PIX, "my bed, my dressers."
Last month, on December 6th, activist, Alfredo Carrasquillo, his wife, and two young children were greeted with great fanfare, as they announced they were moving into the house at 702 Vermont, with signs outside saying, "Foreclose on banks, not people." Ahadzi said he ran over to the home during the rally, asking for help to regain the house, and organizers said they would try to work with him. Carrasquillo, who works for a non-profit called VOCAL-NY, told PIX "We had no idea of the prior owner's history." Carrasquillo said the East New York community was happy to see him arrive, because the Ahadzi house had been vacant for several years, and "people were complaining of illegal activity in the house. We thought we were helping the community." Ahadzi, it turned out, had been forced to move to his brother's basement about a mile away, before he found a two-bedroom apartment in Brownsville for himself and his two daughters, ages 3 and 10.
Ahadzi said he was shocked when he toured the house. "When I went inside, I saw all the walls had been taken down!" The group told him this was because there was dangerous mold on the walls. And now, it turns out, the homeless family that was applauded last month, for finally finding "a place to call home", is not living at 702 Vermont! The father, Alfredo Carrasquillo, told PIX he stays there most nights, but there was a problem with renovations, "so due to that, I didn't feel it was a save environment for my children to live there permanently."
On Monday night, Wise Ahadzi was returning from a trip upstate with his daughters, wishing the Occupy movement would put its energies behind him. The bank acknowledges he still, technically, owns the house. "Why give this to a homeless person?" Ahadzi asked. "Why not the owner of the house?" Monday evening, Alfredo Carrasquillo told PIX, "We have tried to reach out to Mr. Wise. We're more than happy to help out in any way we can."