Acts of Kindness
70-year-old woman in danger of getting evicted from home of 20 years gets support from neighbors
They helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for her!
Eduardo Gaskell
06.24.22

70-year-old Linda Taylor received a two-month notice to vacate the house she’d been living in for 2 decades. Her landlord gave her 2 choices, which were to buy the home or leave.

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

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

Linda sold the house after falling prey to a real estate deal she didn’t understand. She bought the place in 2004 but began to fall behind on payments. She was eventually ‘tricked’ into signing the house back to the previous owner.

Then the owner allowed her to rent the place.

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

The house was bought in 2006 by the landlord after his predecessor was caught in a mortgage fraud scheme. during the pandemic, he raised Linda’s rent twice while ignoring maintenance issues.

His asking price for the house was $299,000. Linda didn’t have that kind of money.

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

Linda lives alone and says she can’t eat and sleep after hearing what the landlord had to say. She lost her job due to the pandemic.

She had no income, but Linda still payed $1,400 a month for rent using her savings, money from family, and even government subsidies.

Linda spoke to Andrew Fahlstrom, 41, a housing rights organizer. He moved in the same neighborhood 6 years ago, becoming good friends with Linda.

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

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

Andrew spoke to others, and soon the community responded offering their help.

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

Linda has 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. She’s tried reaching out to social services for help over the years. She even applied for programs and grants for renters hoping someone would buy the house.

Linda’s community began to move. They wrote a letter to the landlord, requesting him to postpone eviction and negotiate with Linda.

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

400 neighbors signed and hand-delivered the letter in February. The landlord allowed Linda to continue renting, giving her until June 30 to buy the home. He also lowered the price to $250,000.

But the lowered price was still out of her reach.

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

So Linda’s neighbors began fundraising efforts and social media campaigns, launching a block party and an art show so Linda could sell some of her artwork.

There’s a fundraising page and campaign site, which brought in more money. A local church donated $200,000 helping reach the goal.

The community raised $275,000 in 4 months. That was enough to allow Linda to buy the house and even have repairs done. Additional donations will go to utility payments.

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

YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul
Source:
YouTube - FOX 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul

It took almost 20 years, but Linda finally called the house 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 experienced the love and generosity of so many people so she is determined to pay it forward.

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

Now that’s a wonderful community to live in!

Watch the video below for more on this story!

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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