Sacramento, CA

Oak Park resident keeps property with local organizations’ support

Robert J Hansen

Wanda Clark keeps property but still needs help rebuilding

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0Th5wi_0doCpiHV00
A crew with Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council demolishing Wanda Clark’s home on on Jan. 17, 2022.(Photo courtesy of Wanda Clark)

Sacramento, Calif.- by Robert J Hansen

Oak Park resident Wanda Clark, whose home was placed into receivership because of its unsafe and dangerous condition, recently regained full ownership of her property.

She found support from local organizations, including Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA), Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento, Lift Up Love Always (LULA), Greater Sacramento NAACP, Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council, and the City of Sacramento.

“This is the start, not the end,” Rashid Sidqe, founder of Lift Up Love Always said.

LULA was one of the first organizers to support Clark.

“I am so very grateful for the community’s support and for helping to come up with this solution,” Clark said. “I am now able to maintain ownership of the property where I have lived for decades, and where I raised 20 children and grandchildren.”

Clark said she is still taking donations and needs assistance rebuilding.

Kendra Lewis, from the Sacramento Housing Alliance, said this created opportunities for people like Ms. Clark to be able to purchase a home and raise a family.

“Ms. Clark has worked incredibly hard her entire life. Her story is one of hope and perseverance and of the community coming together,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the outcome allows Clark to maintain ownership of her land and maintain her dignity. Lewis has no doubt these efforts will lead to more programs that help local homeowners avoid similar situations.

“This is the type of collaboration which will give voice to Dr. King’s vision in our city,” Lewis said. “On this MLK holiday, we are reminded of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is deeply rooted in housing equality, which helped deliver Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, commonly known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibiting discrimination in the sale and rental of housing, opening the door to homeownership and improved living conditions for all Americans, especially Black Americans.”

Ms. Clark in 2005 hired a contractor to renovate her home and add a second story over her garage to provide additional space for her family members. The contractor took her money but never completed the work, leaving Ms. Clark’s home open and exposed to the elements.

After her home fell into disrepair, Ms. Clark, who is 71 years old and works as a janitor for the County of Sacramento, did not have the resources to bring it back to a safe, livable condition, despite working with the City of Sacramento for years to do so.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0reKfd_0doCpiHV00
Wanda Clark in front of her home that was in receivership on October 5, 2021.(Photo by Robert J Hansen)

In 2021, the court ruled that Ms. Clark’s home would be placed into receivership, which would have resulted in the receiver selling her home.

Community leaders and organizations like LULA and SHA rallied around Ms. Clark to help bring awareness to her situation.

The coalition was able to help Ms. Clark secure an outcome in which she maintains ownership of her property after months of work and creative collaboration

The Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council volunteered to raze Ms. Clark’s home which has significant structural issues.

Once this work is completed, her property will be released from receivership. In the agreement that was reached with the City of Sacramento, the collection of the receiver’s fees has been suspended.

The City of Sacramento will soon finalize a program to help prevent displacement in the zip codes around the planned UC Davis Aggie Square Innovation District.

It is expected that the final settlement agreement with the City will be that all costs will be covered by this program.

Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Executive Director Kevin Ferreira said his company is happy to help Clark and thinks this is a sad story of someone who fell victim to a less than desirable contractor and caused her a lot of misery.

“We look forward to doing what we can to help Ms. Clark move back into a new home,” Ferreira said.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento worked with Ms. Clark and her mortgage lender to ensure that she will maintain ownership of her land post-demolition and removal of receivership.

Greater Sacramento NAACP and LULA are actively seeking financial support to help Ms. Clark with future residential plans.

To contribute to this effort visit www.naacpsac.com.

Click on the “Donate” link, and mention “Wanda Clark Project” in the memo. 100% of the donations will go to building a long-term housing solution for Ms. Clark.

“This is a middle chapter in the ongoing advocacy for Ms. Clark, not the ending,” Leah Miller, President, and CEO of Habitat for Humanity said. “While Ms. Clark is no longer incurring costs and will be able to retain ownership of her land, there is much more to be done. We encourage others in Sacramento and beyond to connect with Greater Sacramento NAACP to help Ms. Clark achieve a long-term housing solution where she can live in comfort, safety, and dignity.

“Ms. Clark’s situation has served as an important catalyst for Habitat for Humanity and the City of Sacramento to further our discussions about developing a citywide program that would help in-need residents access funding and reliable, licensed contractors to complete critical home repairs, so their houses do not become health and safety issues for their families or community,” Miller said.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity’s home repair programs, visit www.habitatgreatersac.org.

Comments / 1

Published by

Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento County, CA
7070 followers

More from Robert J Hansen

Comments / 0