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Barricades removed in Oregon neighborhood protest against family's eviction

Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The barricades for a protest in a three-block stretch of an Oregon neighborhood against a family's eviction have come down upon a tentative deal with the city.

Barricades blocking North Mississippi Avenue to protest eviction of the Kinney family were removed upon the tentative deal to buy back the "Red House on Mississippi," in north Portland.

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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said the family and developer were not in direct contact, but were negotiating through intermediaries.

"I am very confident they will reach an amicable solution on this," Wheeler said.

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Demonstrators removed barbed wire barricades in place since last week on Sunday ahead of a Monday deadline for the street to be cleared without police forcing the family to leave amid ongoing negotiations, activists said.

Multnomah County deputies served a court order for eviction to the Kinney family on Sept. 9, the sheriff's office said.

Since then, activists have been camping out on the property to support the fourth-generation Afro-Indigenous family's right to stay in their home, an activists' website shows. Tensions heightened Tuesday when sheriff's deputies attempted to forcibly remove the Kinney family, prompting the barricades.

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The "Red House" had belonged to the Kinney family for more than six decades, but the home went into foreclosure when the family fell on hard times, and two years ago a developer bought it for $265,000.

Julie Metcalf Kinney, who is Native American, and her husband William Kinney Jr, who is Black, owned the home before they fell on hard times financially when a son faced criminal charges, and they had to take out a mortgage, which they failed to pay for nearly a year and a half, leading to foreclosure.

A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to save the Kinney family from eviction has raised over $308,000.

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"We don't need another empty, high-rise, high-rent luxury condominium," the GoFundMe post reads. "The Kinneys are one of the last Black families remaining on Mississippi and their fight for their home is also a real-time fight against gentrification. In order to stand a chance against the big banks and developers who've systematically displaced Black families across North and Northeast Portland, we need leverage."

Urban Housing Development, a construction company in Portland, currently owns the house, according to Multnomah County property records. The family filed a formal request to the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case in November and response is due Dec. 23.

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