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EnglishLulu
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08 Oct 2011, 3:29 pm

Any other Aspies or spectrum cousins squatting in the UK? There's a proposal to criminalise squatting. There was a public consultation that ended on 5 October (I've had only intermittent internet access recently so haven't been able to flag it up previously).

I've been squatting in London since March this year. I've come across a few other people who are almost certainly on the spectrum as well, some may have been DX'd with Asperger's or psychiatric conditions or some I just got a strong sense that they displayed characteristics and behaviours that were typical of Aspies.

I guess that there might be a fair few Aspies squatting because of the difficulties to gain and maintain stable employment and therefore rent and maintain a tenancy. And also being a bit different to NTs generally, and there being lots of 'alternative' types on the squatting scene.

I'm concerned about the prospect of criminalising squatting, because I think it will particularly affect Aspies, other people on the spectrum and people who find it difficult to conform in society (job and rent/mortgage) due to mental health problems like bipolar, schizotypal disorders and so on.

Is anyone else squatting?
Did anyone else respond to the consultation?



Tequila
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08 Oct 2011, 3:45 pm

It's common theft and occupation of another's property. Criminalise it.



MrCarbohydrate
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08 Oct 2011, 4:02 pm

A lot of properties are empty and unused.. Tequila, you should really have more empathy and understanding for people less fortunate than yourself... wow....



League_Girl
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08 Oct 2011, 4:04 pm

I hope you guys aren't wrecking the vacant property and doing stupid things.



imcaptainkirk
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08 Oct 2011, 4:09 pm

Tequila wrote:
It's common theft and occupation of another's property. Criminalise it.


The law is an ass.



MrCarbohydrate
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08 Oct 2011, 4:14 pm

League_Girl wrote:
I hope you guys aren't wrecking the vacant property and doing stupid things.


wow, I hope you guys are alright and to hell with the property and the stupid people



Tequila
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08 Oct 2011, 4:37 pm

MrCarbohydrate wrote:
Tequila, you should really have more empathy and understanding for people less fortunate than yourself... wow....


I do have empathy. I have empathy with the person who has had their property invaded by vagabonds and ne'er-do-wells and who can't get it back.



pezar
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08 Oct 2011, 5:10 pm

Wow, squatting is LEGAL in the UK? Wow. So a bunch of hippies just takes over some guy's property, and he can't get them out? Talk about liberalism gone wild. I remember being active in Homes Not Jails in San Francisco in the mid 90s, and even THEY didn't want to legalize squatting! At most, they pointed to squatting as a measure done out of necessity, a temporary reprieve from the streets. Their goal for the most part was to get landlords-private owners-to rehab their old tenements so that they could be rented for a livable rent. There were always the kooks who think everything should be free, but the more sober radicals (so to say) usually prevailed. I can't believe that squatting is legal over there. I know that most housing is owned by the government in the UK, unlike the USA where govt owned housing is only for the desperately poor. Most housing here is privately owned.



imcaptainkirk
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08 Oct 2011, 5:38 pm

pezar wrote:
Wow, squatting is LEGAL in the UK? Wow. So a bunch of hippies just takes over some guy's property, and he can't get them out? Talk about liberalism gone wild. I remember being active in Homes Not Jails in San Francisco in the mid 90s, and even THEY didn't want to legalize squatting! At most, they pointed to squatting as a measure done out of necessity, a temporary reprieve from the streets. Their goal for the most part was to get landlords-private owners-to rehab their old tenements so that they could be rented for a livable rent. There were always the kooks who think everything should be free, but the more sober radicals (so to say) usually prevailed. I can't believe that squatting is legal over there. I know that most housing is owned by the government in the UK, unlike the USA where govt owned housing is only for the desperately poor. Most housing here is privately owned.


The UK is one of the most expensive countries in the world to live in. All of the UK is as expensive as San Francisco. In America you can live in Texas or Mississippi or many places have cheap neighborhoods. In the UK there's no equivalent. Everywhere is expensive. Because the UK has free healthcare and education for everyone, low unemployment, a high life expectancy and lots of interesting architecture, scenery, entertainment and history a lot of people immigrate there and want to live there. It's also a small island and so a housing crisis has developed.



To7m
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08 Oct 2011, 7:33 pm

I hope squatting isn't totally criminalized, that'd suck for a lot of people... out of interest, how do you have access to the interweb?



Burnbridge
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08 Oct 2011, 8:09 pm

I squat frequently in the states, it's much harder here than the UK.

Over here, the laws vary from city to city, but typically a squat can be formed where the owner of a property dies and has no heirs to inherit it. You find an abandoned roperty, see who owns it, see if they're alive and do a geneaology reference to them.

If it comes out clean, you move in. Fix the place up. If you can occupy it uncontested for 7 years, you may buy it from the Gov't by paying the unpaid back property taxes.

Squats are usually only viable in very bad neighboorhoods, but if you have neighbors nearby, they will love you. For saving some nice old houses instead of letting them crumble into dust. Works best in rust belt areas here where the manufacturing base has been relocated to china. Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, St Loius all have thriving squat scenes that the Gov't winks to.

Back in the 80s in Oakland, CA, the city Gov't used to subsidize squatters, with utility bill discounts. The place was a nightmare, but the city did what they could to help people save houses.



hyperlexian
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08 Oct 2011, 8:40 pm

in canada, over 20,000 people are homeless every night. in the UK it is about 500. clearly you have a better safety net for homeless people, so why are you squatting? is there somewhere you can go for help? it seems like a dangerous and scary option.

it's criminal to squat here too, by the way.


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08 Oct 2011, 8:41 pm

A bit of background info:
http://www.liquidfusion.co.uk/free_land ... claims.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2001/jun ... aneperrone


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hyperlexian
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08 Oct 2011, 8:44 pm

Cornflake wrote:

i see, so it seems it is advantageous as it allows someone to claim land that is not their own. not so much a necessity as a strategy? or am i misunderstanding?


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08 Oct 2011, 8:58 pm

hyperlexian wrote:
Cornflake wrote:
i see, so it seems it is advantageous as it allows someone to claim land that is not their own. not so much a necessity as a strategy? or am i misunderstanding?
In many cases it's more like claiming land or property having no discernible owner, or where a known owner has intentionally abandoned it.
It's laughable that a council should somehow forget about their own property for 12 years. No wait: it's criminal, and much more so than someone moving into it and renovating it.
In these types of cases I fully support the actions of the squatters.

I'm not sure how frequent are the cases of families going away for two weeks and on returning, find their house has been taken over by umm, "a bunch of hippies". Very rare indeed, I should think - but in this type of case, the squatters have no rights - and the law recognises this.
It's not the case that anyone can just stroll into a house and say "this is now mine", and make it stick.


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hyperlexian
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08 Oct 2011, 9:10 pm

Cornflake wrote:
hyperlexian wrote:
Cornflake wrote:
i see, so it seems it is advantageous as it allows someone to claim land that is not their own. not so much a necessity as a strategy? or am i misunderstanding?
In many cases it's more like claiming land or property having no discernible owner, or where a known owner has intentionally abandoned it.
It's laughable that a council should somehow forget about their own property for 12 years. No wait: it's criminal, and much more so than someone moving into it and renovating it.
In these types of cases I fully support the actions of the squatters.

I'm not sure how frequent are the cases of families going away for two weeks and on returning, find their house has been taken over by umm, "a bunch of hippies". Very rare indeed, I should think - but in this type of case, the squatters have no rights - and the law recognises this.
It's not the case that anyone can just stroll into a house and say "this is now mine", and make it stick.

but you pretty much give council housing to anyone who asks, and have an awesome set of supports for homeless people. so it seems that it is not really necessary to squat. if a house was abandoned, maybe someone could mention it to the city instead of moving in?


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