Inspired by Williams, second homeowner vows eviction fight

Linda Norenberg
Linda Norenberg, lower right, has vowed to fight eviction from her home in Robbinsdale. Rosemary Williams, upper left, inspired her to make her case public.
MPR Photo / Elizabeth Baier

Rosemary Williams' public battle to stay in her foreclosed home has inspired at least one other Twin Cities woman, who now vows to resist eviction from her own home in Robbinsdale.

Linda Norenberg sat on her front steps Wednesday and said she would fight eviction like Williams, who has staged a months-long rally and gathered support from several community organizations.

"We're both 60 years old. We're both in family-owned houses," Norenberg said Wednesday. "I want to stay here. I love it here. I love the neighborhood."

The two women met over the weekend when Norenberg joined other activists outside Williams' Minneapolis home. Williams told the crowd she will remain in the house despite being ordered to leave by Hennepin County Sheriff's deputies.

On Wednesday, it was Williams who sat on Norenberg's steps, holding a sign that read "Save Mom's Home." Williams vowed to continue to encourage other foreclosed homeowners to remain in their homes.

"Why would we want to lose a person that's so rooted in the community?" Williams said. "It makes no sense. None at all."

Before you keep reading ...

MPR News is made by Members. Gifts from individuals fuel the programs that you and your neighbors rely on. Donate today to power news, analysis, and community conversations for all.

Norenberg's house has been in her family for 65 years. She said her father built the home in 1944, and she bought in 1977 after he died.

Her problems began when she had to refinance her home twice over the years because of job loss and low wages. She said she lost her job as a school bus driver after getting a DWI in 2003.

It was my first DWI ever," she said. "I had been driving for a living for many years."

Norenberg was unable to keep up with the $1,200 monthly mortgage payments, and the house was sold at a sheriff's sale in January. Chase Home Mortgage sold the house to CitiMortgage for $91,000, Norenberg said.

Norenberg was supposed to leave July 30, but has remained in the home, despite the risk of arrest. She now who makes $9.45 an hour working as a supermarket cashier and said she wants to renegotiate with her lender.

"I'm still in the house and I'm on pins and needles," said Norenberg, adding that the sheriff has not served her with an eviction order yet. "I'm stressed. I've got stuff packed up 'cause I don't know when they're going to come out."