The Minnesota Recorder reports that for twenty years, Linda Taylor has lived in a little white stucco house close to downtown Minneapolis. She tried to buy the house in 2004, but fell prey to a real estate deal she didn’t understand. The man who swindled her ended up going to prison but there was no money for her to reclaim and the house went back up on the auction block. The man who won the auction has rented the home to her for the last 15 years.
Earlier this year, Taylor was given three months notice by her landlord to vacate the premises. He planned to sell the home and was asking $299-thousand — much more than she could afford. But even though the situation was distressing, she was determined to stay in her home. Linda says “Since I’ve been in this house, I had four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I even had the sorrow of losing my oldest daughter.” Taylor shared the bad news with her neighbor, Andrew Fahlstrom, who is a professional housing rights advocate and he started spreading the word among the other neighbors. About 400 people from the community signed a letter to Taylor’s landlord asking him to delay the eviction and he responded by giving her a couple of months and lowering the asking price to $250-thousand.
Then a group of Taylor’s neighbors worked together on a massive fundraising effort. They held a block party, ran social media fundraisers, and even put on an art show where some of Taylor’s paintings were sold. They got donations from $5 to $15-thousand, and then a local church donated $200-thousand and with that Taylor had enough to pay cash for the house. On May 31st, a month ahead of the deadline, she closed on her home and after 20 years, it is finally hers.
Andrew said "Miss Linda has been an institution in this neighborhood. She has volunteered for just about everything from soup kitchen to blood drives. She knows everyone, she is the friendliest person in a five-block radius, and everyone knows who she is, so I really couldn’t let it happen.”