London: Squatters are people. Don’t evict them from safety

In the wake of the global Corona Virus (Covid-19) pandemic everyone needs protection especially because it is critical to saving lives. The continued eviction of squatters and in some incidents renters puts everyone at risk.

But this is where we are. Abandoned and empty buildings matter more than the shared responsibility of keeping everyone safe. While the media is swirled with stories of rough sleepers being put up in hotels and hostels, the invisible homeless, the squatters are finding themselves on the streets due to evictions. During this dangerous pandemic, the police are teaming up with landlords to illegally evict squatters onto the street. During this dangerous pandemic when other evictions have been halted, the courts are still entertaining putting squatters onto the street. The state has taken the route of abandoning the well being of those under its protection including its own citizens. [Read More]

UK: Evictions make us sick!

Squat solidarity! This MayDay squatters from across the U.K. have come together to co-ordinate decentralised actions across the country to highlight our plight and address our needs. Both residential and commercial buildings have been occupied to provide housing for ourselves and the others left high and dry during this time of crisis, and banners have been dropped in support by squats not yet facing imminent eviction. Land has been taken to repurpose for clean open space and food, and food distribution is taking place to aid all who are struggling.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, emergency legislation was introduced and put a stay to all evictions for 90 days. However, it took just three weeks for the judges to surrender to the pressure from bailiffs, landlords and banks, and amend the law. Squatting cases will continue to be heard via phone, and bailiffs are now again smashing through our doors the way they always have – but this time we’re in the middle of a global pandemic and it’s scarier than ever before. [Read More]

UK: Evictions held over, hotels for the homeless — Covid is upending housing

The legal situation has been changing so rapidly that even full-timers are struggling to keep up, but with the introduction of Practice Direction 51Z it looks like eviction proceedings are finally off the table for now and we have time to take stock of what is now utterly uncharted territory in British housing.

Minutes after I’d finished an article regarding the situation regarding squats and ongoing evictions in Britain the information became outdated, as emergency procedural changes were brought in by the government, in theory protecting everyone, squatters, renters, and the street homeless, from the risks of being out on the streets during this period. Let’s explore what each of these measures might realistically mean.

Up until this moment, the government had promised a three-month breather for mortgage repayments, and then – under pressure – caved and stated that tenants who fail to pay rent will be protected from eviction for the next three months. This does not mean a lot in practice, as the rent still needs to be paid, and agreements for doing so settled on. [Read More]

Puget Sound: Stop the Sweeps!

Don’t Let Your Houseless Neighbors Be Treated Like Garbage

Flyer for printing stopthesweepsflyer

Thousands of people sleep-rough in tents, doorways, or vehicles around the Puget Sound. On any given day they might be forced to give up what little semblance of stability they have by threat of violent arrest and seizure of their few belongings. These sweeps are a never-ending game of whack-a-mole where the only result is to keep the problem out of sight and out of mind, all while inflicting ever-more violence and trauma on those already suffering.

As an avalanche of tech capital pours into the region, more are forced out of their homes and onto the streets every day. This displacement often falls along historic lines of racist and colonial segregation: Indigenous, Black and Brown communities are significantly more likely to be forced out by gentrification and find themselves with nowhere else to go. A nationwide drug epidemic, fueled by massively profitable pharmaceutical companies, magnifies the problems homeless folks already face.
[Read More]