Neighbors raises money for woman about to be evicted from her home of 20 years

A Minneapolis woman was saved from eviction—thanks to her neighbors who worked together to help keep her home.

Linda Taylor, 70, received a notice from her landlord earlier this year requiring her to vacate the home she has lived in for over 20 years. He warned her that she would be evicted if she didn’t buy the home or leave.

“It felt like the world had been pulled from under me,” she said. “My house means everything to me.”

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Linda initially owned the house but sold it when she fell prey to a real estate deal she didn’t understand. She purchased the property in 2004. However, she began falling behind with her payments. She was then ‘tricked’ into signing the house back over to the previous owner, who allowed her to rent it.

After his previous landlord was caught in a mortgage scam scheme, the current landlord bought this house in 2006. He raised Linda’s rent twice during the pandemic and let repairs and maintenance issues linger.

Her landlord wanted to sell the house with an asking price of $299,000—something Linda couldn’t afford.

Linda Taylor's home
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Linda, who lives alone in the two-bedroom house, says she couldn’t eat and sleep after her landlord told her to vacate.

She worked for a local non-profit organization for nearly three years before being fired amid the coronavirus epidemic.

Despite having no income, Linda continued to pay rent—about $1,400 a month—using her savings, money from family, and government subsidies.

Linda, 41, decided to share her situation with Andrew Fahlstrom (41), who is a professional housing rights organizer. He and Linda have a strong relationship since they moved to the area six years ago with their partner.

“She has always been the one in the neighborhood who greets everyone,” Andrew said.

A block party for Linda Taylor
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He reached out and asked his neighbors for help. Many people offered their help as soon as word spread.

“People listened to what Miss Linda was saying and wanted to do something,” Andrew said. “It was just such a clear and compelling story that everyone rallied for her.”

Linda, who has five kids, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren has tried to get help from social services many times over the years. She also applied to grants and programs for renters looking to purchase their home.

“Every time I tried to buy it, I ran into a ton of different walls,” she said.

Campaign artwork to save Linda Taylor from eviction
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Linda’s community mobilized on her behalf. Organizers wrote to the landlord asking him to hold off on eviction until Linda could negotiate with them to buy the house.

The note was signed by around 400 neighbors and handed to the landlord in February. It worked and Linda was able to continue renting, with an option to purchase the home by June 30,. However, he was unable to sell the home at $250,000 because it was too expensive for his tenant.

So community members organized fundraising efforts that included social media campaigns and a block party. Linda, who loves to paint, also sold her artwork at an art show.

Organizers set up a fundraising page as well as a campaign website to bring in more donations. A local church donated the largest sum—$200,000—which carried the collective effort toward the finish line.

Linda received $275,000 from the community in just four months. This is enough to purchase her home and pay for repairs. Any additional funding will be used to pay utility bills.

Linda Taylor holding a "Just Closed" sign
Instagram

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

After almost 20 years, Linda’s home finally became hers.

“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.”

Linda said that she is determined and motivated to pass on the lessons she has learned.

“I’m here to help the next person and the next person and the next person,” she said.

Click the video below from Fox News for more information.

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