Consultation to criminalise shelter/squatting completed form that u can copy paste and add few sentences of your own
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.