Help Stop Maria’s Eviction!

Rogers Park resident Maria Dolores could be evicted from her home in the coming weeks, unless Fannie Mae gives her back her house. We can make it happen… if we all call Fannie Mae this week!
Contact Kristy Williams Fercho at 312-386-6230 (office), 202-441-4483 (cell), or . Also call the Fannie Mae front desk, at 312-368-6200.


Tell her: “My name is __________ I am calling on behalf of Maria Dolores, who lives at 7250 N Claremont. I am calling to ask you to stop all eviction proceedings on her and all families, and to initiate negotiations directly with her.  I vow to support her home occupation and continue protesting, until Fannie Mae gives her back her home.”

Communities United seeks “Foreclosure and Eviction-Free Zone”

Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction is circulating an electronic petition (as well as paper ones) to create a Foreclosure and Eviction-Free Zone in the City of Chicago.

The current housing crisis is taking a toll on our families and our communities. Mass displacement due to foreclosures and evictions are being seen and felt by communities across the country. We believe that only a movement of people directly and indirectly affected can stop the crisis. Our goal is simple: Creating a people’s alternative to the current situation by ensuring that the threat of unjust foreclosure and eviction is lifted, that loan modifications promised by banks actually materialize, and by ensuring that the homes of residents and community members are not auctioned off or sold as “investments” – which add to the number of vacant and untended homes we see everyday.

Who We Are: Residents and community members of Rogers Park and other Chicago community areas – families and individuals, workers, taxpayers, consumers.

What We Want: A “People’s Bailout” in the form of a moratorium on all home foreclosures and unjust evictions in our communities. (The banks already got their multi-billion dollar bailout and still failed to work with homeowners in distress.)

Why? Housing is a human right – and is one of the three basic needs (food, clothing, and shelter) required for survival. Vacant and abandoned homes and apartments tear down the community by bringing crime, loss of business, and declining property values. We want to strengthen and unify our communities. We want to reinvest in the people and the economic and social life of our communities. ‘Land belongs to the people’ – Emiliano Zapata

Why now? Vacant houses and condos in Chicago amount to more than 12% of the city’s housing stock (US Census). In 2010, Chicago had more than 10,500 foreclosures and 95% of those remain vacant (Rahm Emanuel, press release, August 2011). This year 2012 is projected to bring thousands more evictions and displaced families. With soaring unemployment and record poverty levels, there is no end in sight for this crisis.

Sign up now for MLK Day of Service

During the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday, January 15 & 16, Chicagoans are reaching out to help families in foreclosure. Join neighbors and other volunteers to help keep families in their homes by signing up here for the MLK Day of Service.

  * What: Door-to-Door Neighborhood Outreach
* When: Sunday and Monday, Jan. 15-16, 10am – 3pm
* Where: Neighborhoods all over Chicago

In 1966, Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. moved to Chicago’s West Side to help fight against slum conditions and an end to racial discrimination in housing.

Sixty-six years later, Chicago has one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the country because of years of predatory lending, along with the worst economic downturn since the 1930s and the failure of most banks to modify mortgages. This foreclosure crisis has impacted not only homeowners, but renters as well, leaving many homeless and cutting down on the city’s supply of affordable housing. At the same time, tens of thousands of foreclosed homes are left empty, contributing to conditions similar to those Dr. King came to Chicago to fight.

With the help of volunteers like you, we hope to reach as many homeowners and tenants going through foreclosure as possible during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday!

Sunday, January 15th

–     Training begins at 10am, canvassing 11am-3pm     –

Centro Autonomo, 3640 W. Lawrence

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday — Monday, January 16th

      Training begins at 10 am, canvassing 11am-3pm    –
Sankofa Fight Back Center for Human Rights,  1401 E. 75th St        (corner of Dorchester and 75th)

2655 N. Melvina Ave (W of Austin Blvd, S of Diversey)

Third Unitarian Church,  311 N. Mayfield (E of Austin Blvd, S of Lake St.)

–     Training begins at 11am, canvassing noon-3pm      –
* Rogers Park Community House, 7463 N. Ridge

Families tell banks: Don’t put us on the street this Thanksgiving

Two Chicago families who are members of Communities United Against Foreclosure And Eviction are taking their fight for their homes to the Internet this Thanksgiving. They are featured in YouTube videos demanding that banks work with them – rather than throwing them out on the street.

Maria Dolores Calvillo, who lives at 7250 N. Claremont, has asked IndyMac/OneWest Bank to work with her numerous times, but has gotten only obfuscation and unresponsivenesss in return. Call bank lawyers Pierce and Associates at 312-346-9088. Dial extension 3, then extension 5. Tell them to work with Maria Dolores Calvillo instead of auctioning off her home. Leave a message if no one picks up.

Ms. Calvillo has sought the support of housing organizations and did as she was asked in order to apply for a loan modification. Her home, however, is scheduled to go to auction Dec. 5. If it does, Calvillo, her daughter-in-law and her two grandchildren will be kicked out. She has ultimately decided to speak out against foreclosures and evictions this holiday season, and she’s not alone.

Although she earlier fell behind on mortgage payments, “Now, I am the owner and director of a day care center. I can pay,” Calvillo says. “I’m not hiding. I’m not running away. I want to keep my home.”

Supporters of Calvillo are launching a call-in campaign today, asking their banks’ lawyers to work with the families this holiday season instead of going after them.

The campaign kicks off two weeks of Communities United Against Foreclosure And Eviction events around the fight for housing in Chicago, “From Foreclosed to Occupied: Communities Unite for Housing Rights.”

*On Tuesday Dec. 6, supporters will gather at a housewarming event for a family that has taken over an abandoned building in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood. According to the U.S. Census, 14.7 percent of Chicago’s housing stock is vacant. “I believe what we are doing is right, because people need a place to live,” says Sabrina Morey, one of those who recently moved into the building. “There should be no vacant homes anywhere.”

*On Thursday Dec. 8, Sherri Norris will announce at a press conference that she has decided to occupy her foreclosed home. Despite US Bank’s fraudulent dealings with her and the order of possession the bank has now obtained, Sherri has decided that she will fight to stay in her home, and she’s calling on her neighbors and allies for support. Join her as she stands up to the banks at 6:30 p.m. outside of HER home at 2029 S. 17th Ave, Broadview, IL. For more information contact Simon Swartzman at 773-213-8388.


Communities United Against Foreclosure And Eviction is composed of members of various communities in and around Chicago who fight to keep people in their homes, and to claim land for people who are homeless. We believe housing is a human right, and we recognize that big banks’ predatory lending practices and subprime mortgage loans have been the main cause of the current housing crisis.

Help Maria Save Her Home

Communities United member Maria Dolores Calvillo is fighting to save her home, which is scheduled to be sold on Dec. 5. You can help!

Call bank lawyers Pierce and Associates at 312-346-9088. Dial extension 3, then extension 5. Tell them to work with Maria Dolores Calvillo instead of auctioning off her home. Leave a message if no one picks up. And spread the word with our YouTube video about her fight:

Housing Analysis for Occupy Chicago Teach-in

Members and volunteers from Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction were invited to give a teach-in at Occupy Chicago on October 30th. Below is the text of a hand-out we gave Occupiers, which goes over our analysis of foreclosures and evictions in Chicago, and how occupations can change the housing system as it exists now:

We want money, land and transportation. We want the abolition of the National Banks, and we want the power to make loans direct from the government. We want the foreclosure system wiped out…. We will stand by our homes and stay by our fireside by force if necessary, and we will not pay our debts to the loan-shark companies until the government pays its debts to us”

– Mary Elizabeth Lease, 1890

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never did and it never will”

– Frederick Douglass, 1857

 Communities created the 1%

 The 1% make their money by controlling/privatizing what we need to do our work and what we need to live our lives. This is why we’ve seen forty years of skyrocketing productivity and almost no increase in wages. This is why students must take on burdensome loans from banks to study at college and compete in the job market that offers them poverty-wage jobs. This is why we have Goldman Sachs-owned charter schools. Despite the overall decrease in household income and the increase disparity in that income between African American/Latino and white families, we are told that this is the best system. By making a profit off of the way we work and the way we live, the rich have made every aspect of our day-to-day lives profitable and have sold many of us on the idea that what benefits the 1% benefits the 99%. One of the best examples is what they’ve done with our homes.

Wall Street and the rich treat our homes as their personal ATM, accumulating vast sums of money at our expense. The wealth amassed in the top 1% literally flows from the ground up, and it flows out of some communities much faster than others.  The federally approved housing segregation of redlining created conditions for the million dollar a day contract selling in the poorest urban neighborhoods. They’ve stalked black and Latino communities with their predatory loans, in order to accumulate above average returns. Banks like Wells Fargo were fined upwards of a hundred million dollars for steering Black and Latino families into toxic, (sub-prime) loans, even when they qualified for conventional fixed rate loans.

While the banks targeted low-income and working class African American and Latino families for sub-prime loans, both the idea and the reality of public housing has been under attack. Whether they are communities of single family homes on the South and West sides or public housing communities on mostly the near North and Northwest side (Cabrini and Lathrop), the 1% has created a speculative investment market of poor and working class communities of color….and now they are cashing out. Continue reading

Sunday: Workshop at Occupy Chicago

We’re leading a workshop at Occupy Chicago on Sunday Oct. 30. Come to the corner of Jackson and LaSalle Streets at 3pm. More info is below.

Reclaiming Chicago and the Radical Housing Movement 

Location: Plaza next to the Chicago Board of Trade (corner of Lasalle and Jackson, between Jackson and Van Buren)

Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction organizes communities around the city of Chicago against economically motivated evictions. In Austin, Belmont-Craigin, and Rogers Park, we are building organizations led by those directly affected by foreclosure and eviction. These organizations fight back against banks and developers through direct actions, such as reclaiming vacant properties, so that communities around the city can occupy themselves. Learn more about how we’ve fought for housing rights, what we’ve won, and how Occupy Chicago can support occupations in communities around the city.