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Squatters Estate Agency Opens
empty homes are a disgrace
from NottFIN 22nd July '99

In an attempt to combat the rising tide of homeless people in Nottingham a Squatter's Estate Agency has opened at the Rainbow Centre.  Max, a spokesperson for the agency, commented that "With over 800,000 empty houses in England and so many homeless the problem amounts to nothing more than a national disgrace.  Over 100,000 of these are owned by public bodies such as the NHS, the MOD and Local Authorities.

Government economists have estimated each empty property costs on average £10,000 per year to keep empty due to rent loss, dilapidation and security. All these potential homes should form the basis of a 'right to rent' scheme, where homeless people would have the right to rent properties that have been empty for a year or more.

"Squatting has benefits for both the squatters, the home owners and the general public, despite the preconceived image of crusty junkies. It provide free accommodation to those who need it. And you don't need to pay extortionate rent to some private fat cat for crap housing. It protects buildings as empty properties fall quickly into disrepair. Empty properties usually develop damp and are the most likely properties to be  vandalised and burgled.

It protects wider society by keeping housing costs down.  Most empty properties are owned by speculators, who keep properties empty in order to increase demand for housing and thereby housing costs.  Of course land never drops in value so it doesn't matter what state the building is in, because the land will be worth more than when you brought it.

So for all these reasons and more this agency has been set up.  It will provide advice on squatting, a list of available empty properties and a possible skill sharing network.  So come and "RECYCLE THE EMPTIES".  And let the agency know of any properties in your area, that have been empty for some time.

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