The Boston organization that fights for, among other things, tenants rights descended on East Boston last week to protest evictions in the neighborhood.
While the group said it was protesting developers coming into the neighborhood to force people out through gentrification, the Boston Housing Authority and Trinity Management, who oversees Maverick Landing, said there was more to the story.
In a statement Vida Urbana, or the City Life, said about 75 people, a majority of whom are Latinos are facing displacement in the neighborhood. The group marched to several key buildings around Maverick Landing and argued that new investors are forcing Latinos out.
“Most of the evictions…are no-fault and are directed at working class people of color,” said Andres Del Castillo, City Life’s organizer in East Boston.
Three people that took part in the protest were arrested according to Boston Police Department records–one from Boston, one from Jamaica Plain and one from Brookline.
However, Trinity’s Kathleen Franco, the BHA and several sources told the East Boston Times that the planned demonstration was ignited by the eviction of one tenant at Maverick Landing.
According to Franco organizers from outside of Eastie originally came to protest eviction without knowing the entire story or presenting the facts of the eviction.
“The eviction that this organization is protesting is of a household that has violated the provisions of their lease that prohibits illegal drug use and criminal activity by residents, their households and their visitors,” said Franco. “The Boston Police Department records report that a member of the household was in possession of a .45 caliber loaded handgun, 5 live .45 caliber rounds, marijuana, several empty plastic bags and more than $800 in cash.”
Franco said this activity happened after Trinity and the BHA previously entered into an agreement with the household on November 20, 2014 in the hopes of avoiding an eviction.
“On January 7, 2015 this household received a letter reminding them of the importance of complying with their lease and the agreement signed on November 20th,” said Franco. “The serious breach of the agreement led us to seek a court order to proceed with terminating the lease and evicting the household.”
On April 10, according to Franco, a court order was granted and on April 16 the household signed a second agreement agreeing to voluntarily vacate the property but that agreement was also broken.
“We and the BHA are committed to the safety and security at these developments and all of the properties we manage,” said Franco. “Evictions are always difficult but in order to insure the safety and well-being of the vast majority of our residents they regrettably are sometimes necessary.”