Twenty-five neighbors and friends gathered at the Germantown home of Rhonda Lancaster on March 14 to protest her scheduled eviction. Germantown is a historic neighborhood in Philadelphia, PA.
Lancaster, a musician and water fitness instructor, has lived in her row house for thirty five years. Now, Wells Fargo Bank is preparing to repossess it.
In the struggle to keep her home, Lancaster has the assistance of national housing advocate Cheri Honkala, director of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, http://www.economichumanrights.org.
During her thirty five years in the neighborhood, Rhonda Lancaster has been an involved and highly valued member of her community. She has worked as a block captain and a town watch leader and has helped young people in her area find employment. She herself has been consistently employed, and is currently teaching water fitness classes at five different locations, as well as playing keyboard with various other musicians and is in the process of recording her first studio album.
The house in question belonged to Lancaster's mother, who passed away three years ago. Lancaster spent ten of her years in the house caring for her ailing mother, whom Wells Fargo persuaded to sign a reverse mortgage near the end of her life. Due to this reverse mortgage, Lancaster was unable to get her name on the deed to the house at the time that her mother was dying. Lancaster was an only child and her mother's sole inheritor.
During her mother's illness, much of Lancaster's income went toward medical care, making it more difficult to maintain the mortgage, and the house went into foreclosure. In spite of her numerous appeals to housing authorities and constant communication and negotiations with the bank, Lancaster has been rejected and ignored, and ultimately unable to secure any assistance to keep her home.
C heri Honkala and the Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign are working to gather public support for Rhonda Lancaster's right to keep her home and remain a valuable member of the Germantown neighborhood. To help Lancaster save her home, please call 267-344-6318.
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