Richmond

Greening for All

The Right to Access Healthy Food

In a mild late-winter afternoon, fifth-graders at Verde Elementary School in North Richmond squat on soggy ground, poking beans into the dirt with thin sticks. They move on to carrots, marveling at the tiny seeds that get stuck on the palms of their hands. Fava beans, bright yellow and orange calendula, and a whole pharmacy of herbs are flourishing in the garden’s rock-rimmed plots.
Last year Verde Partnership Garden produced close to 1000 pounds of vegetables. The students set up a farmers market in front of the school every two weeks. Parents were so eager to buy that they sent orders in with their children, said garden co-coordinator Bienvenida Mesa. North Richmond, like many depressed communities across the nation, has more than its share of liquor stores, but no stores that sell decent, much less organic, produce.

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Foreclosures take health along with homes, report says

Submitted by Staff on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 2:37pm


Oakland Tribune


OAKLAND — The foreclosure crisis is causing more problems than lost homes, it also is deteriorating the health of individuals and communities, according to housing advocates and East Bay officials.

"We know where people live has a lot to do with how people live and how long they live," said Sandra Witt, deputy director of planning, policy and health equity for Alameda County's Public Health Department.

Richmond City Council passes "Just Cause' Eviction Ordinance

Submitted by Staff on Thu, 06/18/2009 - 12:28pm
Source: 
The Globe
With a population of 103,000, Richmond has its fair share of foreclosure victims. However, during this current economic crisis, there is another group of overlooked victims: renters — including good tenants who pay their bills on time and who, by no fault of their own, can also face eviction, ruined credit and homelessness.

Richmond Residents are REDI for Housing Rights

Even a determined family effort was not enough to keep Jessica Peregrina’s home out of default. “We bought a six-bedroom home in San Pablo for $540,000 to house our large tight-knit family and keep us close together,” says Peregrina. Shortly after they bought the house, their mortgage lender went bankrupt. Another bank bought the mortgage and switched it to an adjustable rate. The house lost 30 percent of its value, while the family’s payment ballooned by $1,200 per month, sending them into foreclosure. “My family has sought help from multiple sources,” says Peregrina.  “I looked everywhere for an organization or program to help and I can’t find any.”

Peregrina and many others told their stories at a Housing Crisis Town Hall meeting at St. Mark’s Church in Richmond, California. More than 500 community members and elected officials packed the church for the March 12, 2009 event sponsored by the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI).

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