Eugene resident Candice King has been battling property management company R&R Properties to keep her home since June. The company has made multiple attempts to remove King from her property: calling the police, dropping off moving pods and threatening to sue. Now, R&R has begun evicting King’s neighbor, Annamae Petty.
King has been rent striking with the help of her community of activists and friends for the past five months. King says her old red home in west Eugene has been poorly maintained by property management, describing poor central heating in the winter and old appliances that would be updated had she owned the property. King and her community have occupied the home with a goal in mind: to buy it back and allow working class families to communally own the property.
“They were not involved at all with our occupation,” King says of her neighbors. “The property manager looped them in with us and made them part of the occupation. All because they didn’t call the police on us.”
R&R was able to evict Annamae Petty and her roommate, Alexis Petty, claiming that King and her family were unauthorized guests. The Pettys decided to fight the eviction through the judicial system, but on Sept. 11 were found guilty of violating their lease and therefore forced to relocate by Sept. 17.
In a press release Annamae Petty writes, “We feel that it’s completely unjust to evict us from our home just because we didn’t feel comfortable calling the cops on people. That’s not a reasonable expectation to have over a group of folks who ultimately were never our responsibility to begin with.”
In the wake of Petty’s eviction, King and her family decided to set up a GoFundMe to cover the costs of relocating and finding temporary housing for Petty and her roommate.
“It’s just a malicious tactic to bring us down,” King says in regards to the eviction.
Over the course of the past three months, King and her community of activists have tried to buy back the property from her landlord, Sharon Prager. King made an offer of $700,000 with a down payment of $200,000 to buy the house and create the Almaden Living Cooperative. King hoped that by purchasing the property with a Community Land Trust, King could ensure that the co-op remains affordable for low-income households and allow them to receive tax-deductible donations for the down payment. King’s lawyers were in the process of negotiating with Prager’s legal counsel to purchase the property in the midst of King’s neighbors fighting their own eviction. However, after Petty lost the case in court, King says that Prager decided to pull out of negotiations and continue the process of trying to kick King off the property. Despite negotiations falling through, King says she still refuses to leave.
“We are kind of back to square one,” King says. “Sharon [Prager] wants me to leave and I’m not leaving.”