Finding Others to Squat With in London...

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anu8is
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Aug 12 2005 02:12
Finding Others to Squat With in London...

ok so l'm really trying to work out what to do. My backstory is that l quit my job etc and turned my back on my family who were unimpressed that l gave it all up to travel around Canada. But l did it and l've lived on the streets out here every now and again but l've survived and had an amazing experience. I say out here because at the end of August l fly back to London. I have nowhere to go, no money when l return & no roof so that l can get a postal address for JSA till l find a job. So l have been searching the net for info on squatting. It's not something l've every done and l think its my best bet for surviving in London, problem is when l get in London where the hell do l find others to squat with??? So l was wondering if maybe anyone could advise me. Cheers

Dygash aka Luke

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Lazy Riser
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Aug 12 2005 10:43

Hi

I had a little involvement with the squatting scene in London in the late 80’s, both sides of the river. There used to be a big squatting movement around Stoke Newington, but the council carried out some heavy handed evictions that made the headlines at the time. I’d be interested in talking to anybody who was there. I’m not sure what the current squatting scene looks like, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has been largely curtailed by council flat sell-offs and so on.

What I’m about to say is probably a bit unfair, but I’m exaggerating to make a point. I have to say in retrospect, that the evictions were made easier due to the quite well-to-do backgrounds of a lot of the squatters. Many of them were students, dilettantes and politicos.

I’m a Citizen’s Advice Bureau volunteer, so I know a little bit about housing. It’s not right for me to give you advice about housing and benefits without knowing more about your situation, but I strongly recommend you chat to the local Citizens Advice Bureau connected to where you’re originally from. You’ve left it a bit late, but they should be able to help you sort something out for yourself.

If you’re thinking of turning up in London, finding a squat and claiming benefit, then you are going to be begging on the streets in no time unless you can know some friends who are already there.

From what I know, your local council has a statuary obligation to house you, although crisis accommodation can be a bit insalubrious. If you want to enjoy the bright lights of the big smoke you’re better off using your existing resources to work and save and then launch whatever fabulous career in The City you’ve got in mind for yourself.

I’d be interested to hear some other people’s thoughts, sorry if I’m coming over a bit “old” on you. I have to say that being chased by cops around North Peckham estate certainly gets the old blood pumping, it’d probably give me a heart attack nowadays.

As a matter of interest, does anyone know what’s going on at 121 Railton Road nowadays?

Love

Chris

Thora
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Aug 12 2005 11:01

Lots of people still squat in London, its fairly easy - though obviously your problem's going to be finding people. I'd maybe try getting in touch with the Advisory Service for Squatters http://www.squatter.org.uk/index.php - and try to get a copy of the squatter's handbook, it's really useful.

You could also try going along to squatted social centres - Rampart in Whitechapel or St. Georges in Tufnell Park - you'd be likely to meet other people squatting or looking for squats there.

anu8is
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Aug 12 2005 15:22

Lazy Riser that was totally unfair, l am not just showing up in London to see bright lights and a bit of smoke, l am just trying to survive and thats totally cynical to suggest l just wanna squat to get benefit before launching some fabulous career as you put it. So l emailed squatters.org.uk asking for advice so now l guess l just have to wait for their reply. Cheers for the Link Thora

Thora
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Aug 12 2005 15:51
anu8is wrote:
Cheers for the Link Thora

No problem. Let me know how it goes.

anu8is
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Aug 12 2005 15:55
revol68 wrote:
traveler types

Whats that all about?

anu8is
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Aug 12 2005 16:01

lol l've seen the "bright lights" before but l do love london it has a feel about l've loved every time l've visited it in my life, l'm originally from the south west. And thanxs for the traveller comment... wink

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Lazy Riser
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Aug 13 2005 12:18

Hi anu8is

Bless you, I didn’t mean to piss you off. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavours. I'd really appreciate you keeping us posted as to how you get on. I’d be interested in hearing an update on the current state of the London squatting scene.

Love

Chris

lucy82
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Aug 14 2005 13:57

just thought i'd better chip in here. your local council has not got any statutory duty to house you if you are a single young man with no kids you've no chance of being found "statutorily homeless". if you go for a homeless interview your just wasting your time. all they'd do is go through the formalities and stick you on the waiting list with no priority and give you a list of sally army hostels which are pretty grim places usually.

thoras pointed you in the right direction. so good luck. i hope you find somewhere and some good people to squat with.

welcome back to the uk smile

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Lazy Riser
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Aug 14 2005 19:22

Hi

Quote:
your local council has not got any statutory duty to house you if you are a single young man with no kids you've no chance of being found "statutorily homeless"

Maybe I should leave this, I don’t want to contend with the spirit of Lucy’s advice, I concur with her pessimistic approach. Especially in light of our comrade’s recent return to the UK which, depending on his length of absence, may reflect poorly on any application made.

Assuming you talk to the council to which you have a “local connection”, the easiest way for a council to shirk its duty to a homeless person is to claim that there is no “priority need” in their case.

Lucy, I sincerely hope you don’t think I’m antagonising you for the sake of it, and I apologise in advance if I’m about to do something misguided, I hope you’ll take great delight in correcting me if I’m wrong. Priority need contains the notion of “vulnerability”, here’s my current guidance on it…

Quote:
This is the part of the priority need definition which causes the most problems. A local authority must not have a blanket policy on whom it considers to be vulnerable, and so in priority need. For example, local authorities will often attempt to exclude people who are single or childless from the definition of vulnerability, but such a policy is unlawful and should be challenged. The local authority should consider all of the client's circumstances
Quote:
Vulnerability is not defined in the legislation. However, the Code of Guidance (see endnote 11) gives advice to local authorities on how to interpret this category. For someone to be considered vulnerable by a local authority s/he has to appear less able to fend for her/himself without harmful effects than an average person would in a similar situation. This will include not only being more vulnerable when homeless but also less able to find and keep accommodation

If you can’t find accommodation because you’re poor (and therefore vulnerable), then your local council may be held to account for not doing something to help. Here’s a little story from a while back about Lewisham…

http://www.homeless.org.uk/db/20040405104205?set_language=cy&cl=cy

As for the quality of emergency accommodation, I wouldn’t want to paint a rosier picture than Lucy’s. I think I’d just like to hint that in under populated coastal towns in rural areas, it isn’t quite as bad, but it’s still pretty grim.

If squatting is viable for someone, I wouldn’t knock it, I think squatting is just fine. I politically support the occupation of empty properties, and defend those who choose it as the solution to their housing requirements.

There.

Chris

lucy82
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Aug 14 2005 19:45

The problem is how vulnerability is defined. I work in housing for a city council or at least its arms length management organisation.

Many city councils operate their own yardsticks of vulnerability. For example the one I work for has recently adopted a scale of points from one to twelve with issues such as drug abuse, alcholism, mental ill health bumping you up the scale where it would be considered reasonable to argue that they are less able to fend for themselves than the average person in similar situation. where people are considered to be vulnerable they can be found to have priority but poverty by itself is not considered vulnerability and unfortunately a young healthy man turning up for a homeless interview is as useful as pissing in the wind. The criteria for being statutorily homeless is not just about not having a roof over your head. I'm not being pessimistic by the way, just stating facts (and I'm not antagonised. relax Lazy riser wink ).

I don't deny that by operating in this way the majority of city councils are no doubt going against good practice and I personally think that the plight of childless homeless men which city councils do not feel fit into any of the above categorys is disgraceful. The fact that in Lewisham this was challenged is excellent but nevertheless the way in which people are defined as statutorily homeless remains relatively rigid and young healthy men in particular fall through the loop. The challenge was brought on behalf of a woman in advanced pregnancy. You have to be vulnerable for a reason. There is a shortage of decent properties to meet demand despite the thousands of empty houses in this country because of various housing policy decisions, deteroriation of housing stock and the right to buy snapping up the good ones amongst other reasons and so there is pressure on city councils to limit those who are classed as category A (stat homeless).

emergency accomodation is generally pretty grim. even if you are found in priority need by the way it can mean cooling your arse in a shabby b & b if your lucky waiting for an offer of accomodation in some "flexible" let (ie. the properties noone else wants) which you have to take if its a reasonable offer because the statutory duty of the council only lasts for a certain time period then its tough shit.

I think squatting an empty property is a postive act and I support anyone who does it. The entire housing issue is a national scandel and I'm sick of see human beings get the shitty end of the stick.

hope this clarifies the issue. I'll climb down off my soapbox now.

anu8is
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Feb 25 2006 01:40

Its been forever so i apologise that i never replied to all that thoughtful advice. Just want you to know the day i returned to london i was able to secure a homeless shelter with connections for 2 weeks (yep i'm that good wink and whilst there i secured a 2 1/2 year place at a salvation army hostel with my own flat. So now i'm happy and safe. It was a scarey 12hrs when i got back though, i arrived at 6am, had to convince the ticket seller i was a child to get a 1.20 tube ticket (that was the exact amount of uk money i had left) and from there sought out a back alley connections hostel who directed be to a day center who got me into connections other hostel by mid-day where prince william showed up for a few days because he had just become the patron. I'm typing this from my bedroom, and thank you for all the advice you gave me. BTW i also work at a corp. up on Old Street so all is going well.

Love

Luke

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Steven.
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Feb 25 2006 01:42

glad things worked out for you

need1
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Aug 27 2009 08:48

hey could anyone help me to find a squat ??? in london???

right now i am roughsleeping , and it is rough ... dirty and cold

i am 27, unemployed (looking for work), heterosexual

i will open it myself btw .

i am looking for one for weeks now, but i can not find anything suitable.

even if it doesnt have any water or electricity.. for me it would be a huge step forward... considering the shitty park where i currently reside.

lots of thanks in advance

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Farce
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Aug 27 2009 12:53

You could ask around at climate camp in Blackheath? I'm sure there must be some squatters there?

si
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Aug 27 2009 13:40

pretty good tip

raw
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Aug 28 2009 19:10
need1 wrote:
hey could anyone help me to find a squat ??? in london???

right now i am roughsleeping , and it is rough ... dirty and cold

i am 27, unemployed (looking for work), heterosexual

i will open it myself btw .

i am looking for one for weeks now, but i can not find anything suitable.

even if it doesnt have any water or electricity.. for me it would be a huge step forward... considering the shitty park where i currently reside.

lots of thanks in advance

Go to Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley (next to KFC) 84b whitechapel high street E1. Upstairs is the Advisory Service for Squatters. There are also a number of people involved at Freedom who squat locally in East London on a large estate. I am sure they will help you but be sure to be respectful.

Wolfman
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Oct 12 2009 07:58

Hi Chris Wolfman here was with a little/big movement back in 70's in villa road brixton we squatted the whole street we had tunnels going into every house drawbridges barredwire meeting halls and squat veggi cafe the lot all of the people on one side of the street were given the houses that they squatted at a meega rent eventualy by what was then the GLC(Greater London Council) and others were rehoused if remember correctly but I then went on to Camberwell and opened up two other squats that we ended up staying in for about two years or so. After that I went abroud for a while and when I got back I shared a flat we a my rich girlfriend in madavale(she did'nt like the idea of squatting). Since then I never really had any need to squat again until 9- years ago when I worked for some shit company that ripped me off my wages and I ended up behind the rent and kicked out on the street and so I did the homeless bit in the woods under a tarp with me Dog and then I got a tent or was it the other way around anyway I got a van next and lived in that for three years untill somebody generously donated a camper van to me and I lived in that untill some arseholes smashed all the windows in the middle of the winter and so I opened up three new squats for me and some Polish people. after getting kicked out of them I opened up a garage then I got kicked out of that quite quickly then a few guys let me squat on a bit of land with them until we all got kicked off of that and then I opened up a pub which lasted for about 2 years I got kicked out of that opened up another pub which lasted 8-months or so got over run with rat which I think my neighbours put in ther to move me out I think they had acturly burnt the last squatters out of the place any way it wasnt untill they nicked my van that I finaly decided to go and since then i've been renting again at stupid prices above my means I have also been squatting both sides of the river. Anyone know of anything going just now and i'm intrested to know if the Mayfair squat is still going te, he ? But reaLLY ANY OFFERS FOR ME AN ME PUSSY CAT?

Wolfman
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Oct 12 2009 08:01

Hi all lov da site some nice comment going on please excuse me if I hover around for a little while to read your comments cheers, peace an lov to all.

bazzbilo
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Oct 24 2009 09:14

ay up wolfman,do you mean the squat on 94 and 95 park lane that made front pages? i was in that squat and it got closed down mid january=[ there was a squat round the corner in mayfair that got closed down the day after aswell

mcfranky
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Joined: 25-10-09
Oct 25 2009 19:01

Hello everyone,

I'm Frank McWeeny, a radio student doing a piece about how squatting has evolved from the 70's to present day. I am very interested in your stories about squatting in the 70's, 80's, 90's and today and would love to interview you (anonymously if you want) on your past experience(s).

Does any of you still live in London?
If yes and if you are interested please contact me.

Would love to hear from you

Regards

Frank McWeeny

sibo
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Nov 20 2009 15:57

Hi, I also squatted in Stoke Newington in the early 80s. Clissold Road to be exact. I wont go into what happened , the council action. I was abroad for much of the changes. I find myself homeless today but I survive. Though not originally from London I have a postal [a relative]address here. The political decision to open the EEC to the east has made things difficult. However if even the shabby bedsits are now harder to find and street and sewer cleaning jobs hard to get ,there is always squatting. You dont need an address to receive income support. The CABs are very helpfull keeping one abreast of the changes. I gave up on hostels though. I'll be 60 next year and look forward to my bus pass. You say you volunteer for a CAB and lots of squatters were spoilt rich kids looking for adventure in the 80s. Knew a few chicks like that who worshipped my o so humble origins. Who'd have thought my poverty could get me laid. Good times. Cannot stand sociology even though I have an A level in it so the goons who run hostels and day centers I avoid. London is my favorite city and squatting in it is safer than elsewhere in Europe so if you cannot find freinds just go it alone. Be good. No damage and thee's no place like home. "Even a wild animal has a place to call his own" Tiberius to the crowd in Rome 60BC.

Elysium
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Joined: 22-11-09
Nov 22 2009 13:57

Hi everyone
Im looking for a squat in London, preferably around the east or nr liverpool st as iv just got a job around there.

Also, this whole property guardianship, if you go live with someone in one of the rooms of the house they are guarding...are you required to pay them?? any one have any experience on this?

Thanks! x

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Farce
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Nov 22 2009 14:36

Basically, you should speak to ASS, but it's my understanding that the property guardianship deal is a really dodgy one, and their occupation agreements have really strict terms that give you less rights than squatting, so you can be told to leave with less than 24 hours notice. Not really ideal.

helpmefindasquat
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Nov 30 2009 14:05

OK BASICALLY MY NAMES REBECCA, IM KINDA POOR BUT I REALLY WANT TO HAVE A PARTY FOR THE LAST TIME AS I HAVE NEVER HAD ONE BEFORE. SO I REALLY REALLY NEED TO FIND A SQUAT BEFORE NEXT WEEK. SO DOES ANYONE PLEASE KNOW ANY SQUATS IN LONDON OR KNOW ANYONE THAT WOULD RENT IT OUT FOR THE NIGHT..PLEASE PLEASE HELP X THANKS

the thing
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Dec 11 2009 20:25

Hi all needd a squat asp have some experiance please e-mail me if any thanks. Thething

Christer
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Jan 19 2010 02:12

Hey there guys , Im just pointing out that the other day i was in rampart, and since its been raided and destroyed by police and is now being guarded by private stiffs. Good luck elsewhere!

Emma Anarchay
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Feb 18 2010 16:53

Experiance in Punk squats in glasgow since 2006 im now 25, thinking london as a best bet as glasgow punk squats r running dry fast ,can anyone help please.

Pmg
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May 4 2010 13:27

irish male looking 4 a temporary place 2 stay till i get back 2 work

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Choccy
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May 4 2010 13:28

Weeler has a squat in east London

Joey OD
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May 9 2010 20:36
Quote:
irish male looking 4 a temporary place 2 stay till i get back 2 work

why does it matter that you're Irish? confused
But I hope you all found what yeez were lookin for. Ive stayed in some great squats in Barcelona and Amsterdam and very much support the effort.
What is also needed is tenants unions and residents unions resiting ridiculous house prices and rents.