Fighting eviction: Tenant rights group stop landlord from kicking out elderly woman

BOSTON — It was a victory for a tenant rights group in Lynn on Tuesday after protestors stopped a landlord from evicting an elderly tenant, allegedly for no reason.

Speaking through an interpreter, 68-year-old Miriam Cruz explains she suffers from lupus and other chronic illnesses.

"She is very sick and she don't come out of the apartment for nothing," said Kiki Neverez, Cruz's interpreter.

Now, Cruz is at risk of losing her apartment, just months after Irving LLC purchased the three-family home in Lynn where she lives. The company started what her family says is a no fault eviction case against Cruz and ordered her to leave her apartment Tuesday.

"She really don't know what to do, she will go in a shelter," said Neverez.

Only our cameras were rolling when tenants rights groups Lynn United for Change blocked the driveway as the moving truck and constable came to force Cruz to move out.

Tensions got even higher as the constable engaged the crowd.

"We don't feel it's right for someone to come into our community, seeking profit and harming elderly people," said Isaac Simon Hodes, an activist with Lynn United for Change.

According to the housing court paperwork, Irving LLC owner Jason Irving only cited "the landlord seeks possession" as his reason for evicting Cruz.

Lynn United for Change says the developer has refused to negotiate with Cruz to keep her in her home.

"She will pay all her back rent," said a member of Lynn United for Change. "She'd like to continue to pay her rent and stay there and if there is a charge from RAFT we will cover it."

After about half an hour of confrontation, Paul Minsky, the Lynn City Constable, decided to call off the eviction for the day.

"Jason Irving decided to call it off today," said Minsky.

The fight, however, might not be over. The no fault eviction is still legal in Lynn and Irving has the right to re-issue the eviction order with a 48-hour notice.

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