MEMPHIS -- She was late on rent and back in eviction court. Second time this year. Fourth time in the past two. Cassandra Brown, married mother of two, was fighting to stay in a house that her family had owned for years, until they lost it to the bank shortly after the 2008 financial meltdown. Now, she and her family continued to live in the same house as renters, paying more each month in rent than they once did in mortgage. Brown didn't want to uproot her children, even as the house passed from one investor to the next, finally landing with the $35 billion New York private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus has become in just three years the largest owner of single-family homes in this Mississippi River town, with nearly 1,800 houses rented out to thousands of residents.It also uses unusually aggressive tactics to recover late rent. The property manager it owns and operates, FirstKey Homes, files for eviction at twice the rate of other rental home property managers … [Read more...] about Eviction filings, code complaints: What happened when a private equity firm became one city’s biggest homeowner
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Jennifer Peltz and Wayne Parry, Associated Press Updated 9:06 am PDT, Sunday, October 28, 2018 In this Nov. 14, 2012 photo, Louise McCarthy places an American flag on a street sign for Irving Walk in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. The sign survived a fire that swept through the seaside community during Superstorm Sandy two weeks earlier. Six years later, most residents have stayed. Homes have been restored, and Sandy led to a new ferry service and a rebuilt boardwalk. less In this Nov. 14, 2012 photo, Louise McCarthy places an American flag on a street sign for Irving Walk in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. The sign survived a fire that swept through the seaside ... more Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP In this Oct. 24, 2018 photo, Halloween decorations are placed next to a street sign for Irving Walk, in the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, New York. The sign was salvaged following … [Read more...] about 6 years after Sandy, stories of the storm have new chapters
Inmate No. 15000-030 is released into the frigid January morning at 8:46, a gray custodial suit of sweatpants and long-sleeved thermal clinging to his immense frame, a bushy salt-and-pepper beard wrapping around his face, a guard escorting him with a high-powered rifle slung over his right shoulder. Most politicians would appear hopelessly—dangerously—misplaced in a federal prison. Kent Sorenson is not most politicians. Standing over six feet tall and weighing every bit of 270 pounds, with 11 tattoos and a cleanshaven head, Sorenson is probably the only state senator to have ever been mistaken for a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. That happened during his first stop on the penal turnpike, the Metropolitan Correctional Center (“The MCC”) in Chicago, an administrative facility with maximum-security lodging where the “fish” was viewed warily by fellow inmates. A white supremacist, they figured, sizing him up. It didn’t take long—as soon as … [Read more...] about Kent Sorenson Was a Tea Party Hero. Then He Lost Everything.
Published 12:24 pm PDT, Wednesday, September 12, 2018 Students at Laney College in Oakland participate in the school's tiny house-building course on Aug. 31, 2017. (D. Ross Cameron) Students at Laney College in Oakland participate in the school's tiny house-building course on Aug. 31, 2017. (D. Ross Cameron) Photo: D. Ross Cameron Students move through campus at Laney College in Oakland on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Students move through campus at Laney College in Oakland on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. Photo: Jessica Christian / The Chronicle Buy photo FILE-- Oakland City Councilmember Abel Guillen addresses supporters during a rally put together by the Brooklyn Basin Community Benefits Coalition. Oakland City Councilman Abel Guillen is temporarily moving into a tiny home Tuesday to highlight a potential solution to student homelessness. less … [Read more...] about Oakland Councilman Champions Tiny Homes for Homeless Students
JR Call of the Santa Clara Fire Safety Council checks on a dead tan oak tree in the Santa Cruz mountains above Las Gatos, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. The die-off caused by Sudden Oak Death is compounding the fire hazard in the area. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) JR Call of the Santa Clara Fire Safety Council holds the dried out leaf of a dead tan oak tree in the Santa Cruz mountains above Las Gatos, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. The die-off caused by Sudden Oak Death has compounded the fire hazard in the area. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Ciara Wood hauls out clippings from Ye Olde School Trail behind her house in Kensington, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018. Wood is a leader in a community effort to reduce fuel on the trail that separates residences from an area of Wildcat Canyon that hasn't burned in over a century. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group) Ciara Wood hauls out clippings from Ye Olde School Trail … [Read more...] about Primed to burn: Where are the Bay Area’s most vulnerable places for wildfires?