Skip to main content

Victory on Barlett Street: Windom Family Get Back their Home for the Holidays after 18 year Struggle and Several Protests

Mary Windom Bey

 On Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1pm at 33 Bartlett St., Rochester, NY the Windom Bey family, Take Back the Land Rochester, and other community members will gather, hold a press conference and announce an incredible turnaround and victory for THE Windom Bey family.  The Windom’s struggle and the community protests became front page news of the Democrat and Chronicle and the Daily Record over the summer as the family became deadlocked with the City of Rochester in their fight to stay in their home of 40 years following an unjust tax foreclosure.  After two planned eviction blockades twice thwarted the eviction of the family from their home, the City and investor Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC changed their tuned as the Windom Bey family closed on the house last Friday getting the home back in their name.  After an 18 year struggle with the City of Rochester and later American Tax Funding and Sure Luck Homes 017, LLC the family now has the house back, giving them clean title for the time after being in the house almost 40 years. 

Timeline of the Protests

EVICTION PROTEST I

·         On June 7, 2012 the Windom Bey family and community groups protested the eviction at 33 Bartlett street and were preparing to set up an eviction blockade

·         Special Assistant to the Mayor Darryl Porter showed to the protest announcing that the Mayor’s office had negotiated a 10 day stay of the eviction in hopes a settlement could reached

EVICTION PROTEST II

·         On June 20, 2012 community members began showing up at 33 Bartlett with sleeping bags and tents answering a call to action by the family and Take Back the Land to construct an “Eviction Watch Encampment” and blockade to prevent the removal of theWindom-Bey family

·         At 5:30pm on the June 20, many of the protesters were once again met by Special Assistant to Mayor, Darryl Porter, sitting on front porch of 33 Bartlett  with the news that under pressure, the City of Rochester had negotiated an indefinite stay of the eviction with the investor-owner of the property

CITY HALL PROTEST

·         On September 10, 2012 Eddie and Mary Windom Bey (who were still facing an imminent eviction), Take Back the Land Rochester, Band of Rebels, Metro Justice, and other community members gathered at the front gathered at the front steps of Rochester City Hall to protest Mayor Richards' actions to block a settlement with the current owners which would have allowed the family to buy back their longtime home and fix it up (the City who had Sure Luck Homes, LLC under contract, was making the family sign waiver of all liability for the City's mistakes at 33 Bartlett, as a condition of theWindom’s repurchasing the house from Sure Luck).

·         After the protest a city official announced to the Democrat and Chronicle that the City would no longer be pursuing the liability waiver, removing the main obstacle to a settlement

·         With obstacles removed, on December 14, 2012 all the documents were signed to turn the house over the WindomBey family

Note: A version of this story was published on Rochester Independent Media Center on December 20, 2012