Consultation text to help save squatting

Tagged as: free_spaces social_struggles solidarity
Neighbourhoods:

This is a finished consultation that others can copy paste and add their own sentence, then send. needs copy of 1-2 done ones on website to info at squashcampaign dot org. There is only today left until 5pm for this consultation. Please fill it in. It may help stop the process of criminalisation of squatting.

Every one should do this, not just squatters. Every other political project including indymedia has greatly benefitted from squatted spaces, and many current non-squatted social spaces were born out of squats. Not to mention all the action camps we have so much loved, like the climate camps.

This is a text easy to copy-paste that you can use in the consultation process that the government has put in place. Of course it is only a model that you can change as you like with your own ideas.

Govt-wants-act-now-deadline-medium

Introduction to your response:

Dear Sirs,

Please find below my answers to some of your questions in this consultation.

All the best

Q 1 Q1. Is squatting a particular problem in your area and where does
it occur the most, e.g. in residential or non-residential property?
Were these properties empty/abandoned/derelict before they were
occupied, or were they in use?

-squatting is not a problem, ‘the problem is not squatting, the
problem is empty buildings'.

-squatting is a solution for many street homeless people.

-Many properties have been squatted after being left empty, often for
many years, in my area, -squatters have improved empty properties and
been a positive contribution to an area or community.

-I would like to dispel the myth about people squatting homes that are
already lived in.

This is already covered by the Displaced Residential occupier law,which can remove someone from a home residence immediately.

I live in London

 

Q2 Please provide any evidence you have gathered on the number of
squats and the nature of squatting in your area or nationwide?

There are many many squats in London

Most squats are in empty abandoned and derelict buildings that are
occupied improved and repaired.

Many squatters get on with their neighbours and improve/bring life
back to derelict areas.

Most are for peoples desperate need for accommodation and
housing,however some are also community, project,art or social
centres,that provide life and low cost support/workshops to the areas
they are in.

Q3 Do you have any data or other information on the demographic
profile of people who squat - e.g. do they share any of the protected
characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010 (age, disability,
gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and
maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation)? Do
they live alone or with others?

All ages ,races and cultures,squat out of urgent need,some are old and
disabled,also families young children ,pregnant women,many from
disadvantaged backgrounds or minority groups. Most live in larger
family groups and help each other.,creating their own support network.

The importance of squatting to the homeless is massive it provides a
safety net when all other routes have failed. It is often undertaken
in desperation and is carried out for basic survival.

-It provides for the hidden homeless estimated to be up to half a
million by Crisis.


Q4 Do you think the current law adequately deals with squatting?
Please explain your reasons.

- The law is more than ‘adequate', we need greater rights for
squatters - for example, ‘legalise squatting to prevent the
dereliction of buildings'.

A Solution could be Link up empty property owners with the homeless
and groups willing to recycle and repair derelict abandoned buildings
creating employment and accommodation.

Using some of the 725,000 empty buildings in the UK (Empty Homes Agency )

there is no need to make any changes as the current law is adequate
because - ‘owners who use their property as their own place of
residence - i.e. displaced residential occupiers (DROs) - are already
adequately protected by section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (DROs
and PIOs)'.

- The current law is adequate, and enforcement currently works OK, but
it could improve if there was better knowledge by the police of the
relevant law (e.g. prosecuting false PIO claims) and/or if there was
better public information about the protections granted to DROs.

The government's guidance is useful, but should have been introduced
earlier to counter misinformation in much of the mainstream media
about the nature of squatting.

There has been massive 6 month campaign of misguiding misinformation
on squatting.

Also lies by Grant Schapps and Crispin Blunt the Housing Minister

Note the letter from 160 Solicitors and academics
http://nearlylegal.co.uk/blog/2011/09/well-he-would-wouldnt-he/

"We are legal academics, solicitors and barristers who practise in
housing law acting for landlords, tenants, owners and occupiers. We
are concerned that a significant number of recent media reports have
stated that squatters who refuse to leave someone's home are not
committing a criminal offence and that a change in the law such as
that proposed by the Government is needed to rectify this situation.
This is legally incorrect, as the guidance published by the Department
for Communities and Local Government in March this year makes clear.

We are concerned that such repeated inaccurate reporting of this issue
has created fear for home-owners, confusion for the police and ill
informed debate among both the public and politicians on reforming the
law."

In short the law is adequate, we need no changes costing hundreds of
millions of pounds to implement,at a time of severe austerity,also the
massive spike in housing benefit from accommodating the displaced
homeless/squatters.

In fact we need to talk solutions using the three quarters of a million empty properties to create homes,communities and project space that will create employment and homes and urban regeneration.

 

--
www.squattershousingactiongroup.wordpress.com
www.squashcampaign.org
www.squattastic.blogspot.com
www.housolidarity.wordpress.com

 

 

Email Contact email: info at squashcampaign.org