It's been a while in the planning, but it's just this afternoon .... it's happened.
A building empty for many years has been occupied. The neighbours constantly fed up with the council inaction, a mess in the garden, drug abusers round the back of the property, windows smashed. Not something you would like to live next door to. Thus, the group has much community support, and now they're secure in their new home, there is much tidying up to do and this has already begun.
I imagine we'll keep you up to date with developments. The group have high hopes for the place, and hope it will inspire other to consider doing the same in the area. Networks to be grown.
I wish them well.
Earlier post on Nottingham Indymedia :: Squatting :: Some Current Advice
This is the case for squatting. Homes are empty, people need somewhere to live. Greenfield site are getting built on. The greenbelt is under threat. House prices mean that so frequently property changes hands in speculation and investments. The needs of millions of people are ignored. AND YET ..... there are all these homes empty. As the article below, recently published by the BBC shows:
"There are currently 58,192 derelict homes in the region, blighting their communities".
Does this strike anybody as unreasonable?
What should WE do about it?
Hoarders blamed for home deficit
Catherine Cashmore BBC News, Nottingham
TV programmes and speculators are being blamed for a rise in the number of empty homes in the East Midlands.
Absent landlords are buying up derelict houses simply to wait for the next property boom.
Others, inspired by makeover programmes, are buying old properties to do them up but fail to realise how time consuming and difficult it is.
There are currently 58,192 derelict homes in the region, blighting their communities by being magnets for vandalism, squatters and rats.
Many councils are now employing people to get empty homes lived in.
One of those people is Andrew Vickers, the newly-appointed empty homes officer for Nottingham City Council.
"There are 483 empty homes on my list, one which has been empty for 17 years," he said.
"These people see these DIY programmes and they want to get on with it - they've no concern for the neighbours or the community, they're very selfish empty home owners.
"Many speculators buy up portfolios of properties waiting to cash in on price increases.
"I've had some of these people offer me backhanders for getting hold of a property, any property, they just want property."
The council uses compulsory purchase orders allowing local authorities to take possession of a property if an owner fails to get it occupied.
It has also removed a 10% Council Tax discount for unoccupied homes and charges full rates to absent landlords in an attempt to get empty houses occupied.
Since Mr Vickers started in his job a few months ago 220 empty homes out of an initial figure of 550 have been brought back into use in Nottingham.
"There is a demand for houses and people are squandering resources that could be used to put a roof over people's heads," Mr Vickers said.
As well as often being neglected, empty houses can affect a whole area.
Council housing experts believe a boarded up or rundown property on a street can take as much as £10,000 off the value of neighbouring house.
"People identify empty homes and they start dumping sofas and fridges," Mr Vickers said.
"When they see there is no possession it becomes fair game. If anything's not nailed down, it goes.
"I've no sympathy if they come bleating to me. If they'd had it occupied it wouldn't have happened."
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England wants more brownfield sites to be built on and more old houses refurbished to protect the countryside from being used to meet the demand for houses.
But financial assistance for such schemes varies from area to area.
Nottingham offers no incentives but a few miles away in Amber Valley, Derbyshire, the borough council offers up to £20,000 to help first-time buyers do up redundant buildings.
Steve Marshall and Clare Petterfore have spent three years renovating a former fruit and vegetable wholesaler, built in 1892 in Heanor, Derbyshire.
"I can remember it being a fruit and veg shop when I was a young lad, I used to come in here with my mum," Mr Marshall said.
"The floors were rotten, the roof needed doing, you could see the stars from the inside.
"We've saved our history, we've saved our heritage."
Ms Petterfore said the development has visibly improved the street.
"Everyone's supporting it, the neighbour's have said they're glad it's not a builder who would knock it down," she said.
Mr Vickers says improvement grants should be more readily available but also wants stronger powers to takeover empty houses and make it easier to bring them back into use.
BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/4599359.stm
Published: 2005/07/26 10:48:13 GMT
ADVISORY SERVICE FOR SQUATTERS (ASS) 2 St Pauls Road, London N1 2QN tel: 0207 359 8814 fax: 0207 359 5185
I do suggest you send off for the current Squatters Handbook ( 12th edition )
it is cheap and worth everyone getting up to speed.
Legal Warning [to print out] http://www.squatter.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13&Itemid=31
Resources :: Downloads http://www.squatter.org.uk/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=19&Itemid=29
freeB.E.A.G.L.E.S. legal resource centre for UK political campaigners.
It is worth a look, checking out our sister projects at:
Cambridge Social Centre!
To get in touch you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org, but the best thing to do is just come along and say hello. We seem to be an interesting bunch of dissidents, lots of computer people (well, this is Cambridge), environmentalists, a brain scientist, students, musicians, writers, artists and all round creative types.
Occupy, Resist, Create!
For another example of 'alternative' buildings projects ... please take a peek at:
EcoWorks: Straw Bale work on "eco-building" in St.Anns
Photographer - Media: One Eye on the Road. Nottingham. UK
WAP phone http://wappy.to/tash
My Blog http://tash_lodge.blogspot.com
Member of the National Union of Journalists [No: 014345]
"It is not enough to curse the darkness.
It is also necessary to light a lamp!!"
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