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Take Back the Land Rochester Eviction Protest on CBS Channel 8

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ROCHESTER, NY - The group Take Back the Land Rochester says having a slew of abandoned homes helps no one.

It says letting banks keep perfectly good homes boarded up, with so many homeless people just isn't right.

Today the group and supporters decided to protest Fannie Mae for trying to kick out four people out of an abandoned home on South Goodman.

The group chanted slogans like "They got bailed out. We got sold out."

Even though take back the land doesn't own the house or have permission to put people in it members still think they're in the right.

"What we do is we open up these abandoned houses and do our own renovations at our own expense." Hubert Wilkerson with Take Back the Land Rochester said. “We get the water turned on and the electricity turned on, sand some siding, do some roofing and say lets get some homeless people and put them in here. We've been very successful with that."

Government backed mortgage company Fannie Mae owns the company. They want the people living there out.

The residents didn't want to talk to News 8 on camera, but they say living at the house is much better than staying at a shelter.

"It gives the human being dignity,” Wilkerson said. “It gives the guys a purpose in life. It takes them out of the shelters and into a home and what happens to them they become better people."

Instead of rent, they say they put in 40 hours of labor replastering walls, patching up the leaky roof and more.

neighbors say they're not a nuisance.

"They've been the best neighbors we've had in God knows how long,” Douglas Warning said. “I've lived in the Southwedge for I don't know how long and you couldn't ask for better people."

Despite being good neighbors, warning says they should have had to pay rent. Rent or no rent take back the land says their presence helps everyone.

"If you have people staying in the house maintaining, up-keeping it; it does the neighbors good,” Wilkerson said. “It helps the property values stay good. The house was just sitting here dilapidated so we just figure it's a win win situation for the banks and for the people."

Take back the land says it offered to buy the home for a dollar.

they say Fannie Mae did not accept the offer choosing instead to try and sell at market price.

The four people living in the home must be out by Tuesday.

Take Back the Land says they are still in the process of moving out.

News 8 tried to get a hold of Fannie Mae and the law firm that issued the eviction notice.

neither answered our calls.

Fannie Mae's answering service did say they were not in because of the holiday.