Negotiations faltered again last Wednesday for Ms. , the Brooklyn great-grandmother whose home was sold following a predatory lending scheme.
After the prior Friday, August 19, organized by non-profit housing advocates and local residents, supporters were able to postpone the eviction of Ms. Ward by city marshals.
The successful blockade ended with Assembly member Annette Robinson volunteering to mediate a meeting on behalf of Ms. Ward and the property’s new owner, Shameem Chowdhury, set for last Monday, August 22.
Lawyers for Ms. Ward submitted to Chowdhury a of $70,000—money Ms. Ward had in escrow. Additionally, Chowdury could donate the property to a land trust as a tax write off.
However, Chowdhury has been unresponsive. After he no-showed for the Monday meeting, and the second meeting rescheduled for that Wednesday, August 24, lawyers for Ms. Ward have started preparing a contingency plan in the likely event that the property’s new owner refuses to negotiate.
According to Jay Kim, lawyer at Common Law, the non-profit legal organization representing Ms. Ward, local elected officials who were in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting have called the New York Attorney General’s office requesting an investigation into the fraudulent sale of Ms. Ward's home.
In the meantime, “We will continue to blockade Ms Ward's home from a possible eviction and keep up the pressure for Mr Chowdhury to meet with us,” said Kim.
On Wednesday, August 31, beginning at 4pm, Organizing for Occupation, an all-volunteer-run non-profit of fair housing advocates, along with Common Law, will hold what they’re calling a “March for Ms. Ward and the Attorney General.”
They plan to march through Bedford-Stuyvesant, from Ms. Ward’s home at 320 Tompkins Avenue, past the new owner’s office, at 168 Fulton Street, and back to Tompkins Avenue.
“We seek a just settlement that recognizes Ms. Ward as the rightful owner of her home,” wrote Jessica French Smith of O4O, in an email to Patch. “We also seek to reconcile the history of deceptive lending practices that have stripped neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy of their community wealth and power.
“[Ms. Ward] was in line to become yet another casualty of the foreclosure crisis, except that she’s not giving up. And neither are we!”
Lawyers for Ms. Ward offer their reason why the home's sale was illegal in the following article: An Illegal Home Sale, According to Common Law.
And finally, Shameem Chowdhury talks! Click here to read the exclusive interview he gave Bed-Stuy Patch: Housing Speculator to Ms. Ward: "I'm Innocent"