City-funded activist group teaches homeless how to invade apartments

Dec 8, 2004
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#1
t’s breaking and entering for dummies.Picture the Homeless, a Bronx nonprofit that has received at least $240,000 in taxpayer money in the last five years, is giving a crash course on squatting — and city-owned buildings are a prime target.

Two weeks ago, board member Andres Perez held a teach-in on how to wrest “control” of vacant apartments. He called it “homesteading.”

“The best time to enter a building is in the late hours,” he advised a group of about 20, who gathered in front of the half-empty East New York housing complex Arlington Village.



VICTIMIZED: Squatters turned Arlington Village in Brooklyn into a prostitution den, according to a resident.



LAW, SHUCKS: Andres Perez is part of a city-funded program teaching people to break into vacant properties.

“You make sure you have your proper tools. You remove the chains and padlock, and then you go in.”

He then led them through the next steps — including filling out a change-of-address form at the post office and setting up utilities. After that, “nine out of 10 times the courts will allow you to be able to have control of the property,” he said.

But squatting school outraged legal residents of Arlington Village.

“I can’t let nobody squat where I live,” said Pete Rolon, 64, a 35-year resident who claimed pimps had grabbed two apartments in the complex. “There were hookers. They were smoking crack. There were condoms all over the floor. There were hundreds of them.”

He remembers when the complex of 12 two-story, red-brick buildings was filled with families and children playing.
Police and residents eventually forced the sex-trade squatters out last fall, according to Rolon.

Mohammed Hossain, the super at Arlington, where pads go for $600 to $1,000 per month, said complaints about homeless people breaking in to steal pipes and metal fixtures are common.

“The homeless people, they have no right to be squatting here,” he said. “If they pay rent, that’s different.”
Residents also aren’t happy about city tax money going to a group that preaches squatting.

“That’s not right,” said one longtime resident. “That these guys are teaching classes on this — that’s ridiculous.”

The Web site for Picture the Homeless boasts a list of accomplishments that includes sending “delegations to the World Social Forum in Brazil.”

Perez, 46, a former city Housing Authority worker, said the group has “two major campaigns.” One is dedicated to opposing the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” policy. The other involves schooling people about “warehoused” property.

Homesteading, he lectured, is a permanent occupation, while squatting is only temporary “clubhousing.”

“The best properties are city-owned properties or bank-owned properties,” he said. “They warehouse these properties. They’re sitting on them.”

Picture the Homeless’s annual taxpayer funding is approved by the City Council and administered through the Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“We absolutely don’t condone the practice of squatting,” said HPD spokesman Eric Bederman. “It’s illegal, and it’s dangerous.”
Bederman added that his agency has no control over Picture the Homeless’s funding. “It’s the City Council’s decision,” he said.

Robin Levine, a City Council spokeswoman, said, “We’re deeply troubled by reports that Picture the Homeless is instructing New Yorkers in how to engage in dangerous and illegal activities. If these reports are in fact true, they call the group’s entire funding into question.”
Link

Oh and from their site...

http://picturethehomeless.org/vacancycount.html

The gist is... "NYC VACANT PROPERTIES COULD HOUSE EVERY HOMELESS PERSON... AND THEN SOME! "
 

jnoble

Lingering longer for a longering linger
Dec 4, 2005
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#2
how would the utility companys (phone, cable, electric, gas, etc) be allowed to turn on services for an illegal account or address?
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#3
how would the utility companys (phone, cable, electric, gas, etc) be allowed to turn on services for an illegal account or address?

I would think you would register it in your name... meaning the address isn't as important. I do remember back in ye oldern days when I got my land line I had to get a recommendation from someone before Bell Canada would put a line in.

And as for these vacant buildings... I would not even want to guess how much it would cost to bring these properties up to code. Because you know all the copper plumbing/wiring has been ripped out at the minimum.
 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
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#4
I wish I could find it on youtube but there was a video from a British TV show where squatters would break into houses. Apparently they can't arrest you in the UK for being in an empty house. As long as no one saw you breaking into it and you can show reasonable proof you live there usually a key that works on a lock you just changed) they'll leave you be and the rightful owner must prove ownership legally before they can be evicted. It can sometimes take weeks.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#5
Squatters ruin east London woman's home during holiday (Video)

A woman who left her home in Leytonstone, east London, to enjoy a weekend away with friends returned to find squatters living there.

Julia High says she found them sitting around her kitchen table, drinking her wine and wearing her clothes.

She has now had them removed, but said her home and many of her possessions are ruined.
 

Hog's Big Ben

Getting ass-***** in The Octagon, brother.
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Jul 28, 2005
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#6
Squatters ruin east London woman's home during holiday (Video)

A woman who left her home in Leytonstone, east London, to enjoy a weekend away with friends returned to find squatters living there.

Julia High says she found them sitting around her kitchen table, drinking her wine and wearing her clothes.

She has now had them removed, but said her home and many of her possessions are ruined.
I guess England doesn't subscribe to that pesky Castle doctrine or else there would be lots of gypsy brain splattered on that lady's walls.
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
Donator
Oct 22, 2004
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#7
In the areas where this is happening "normal people" ;) aren't affected.

Go get you some homes, homeless people.

If the city doesn't care, why should I?
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#8
I guess England doesn't subscribe to that pesky Castle doctrine or else there would be lots of gypsy brain splattered on that lady's walls.
Yep... she had to go to court to get them removed. As there was no one witnessing them breaking in.

Perhaps they had one of these...

 

MrAbovePar

En Taro Anthony
Mar 14, 2005
13,779
3,173
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Covington. La
#9
Squatters ruin east London woman's home during holiday (Video)

A woman who left her home in Leytonstone, east London, to enjoy a weekend away with friends returned to find squatters living there.

Julia High says she found them sitting around her kitchen table, drinking her wine and wearing her clothes.

She has now had them removed, but said her home and many of her possessions are ruined.
That's one story I read but there's actually an almost epidemic level of house thievery in some parts of London. This one show followed a crew as they stole a council house.
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#10
Advice from the Home Office on what to do if you find squatters in your house after you come back from vacation or get this... walking your dog.

Advice on dealing with squatters in your home
What can I do if my home has been taken over by squatters?

If you return from holiday or walking the dog to find squatters in your home and they refuse to leave, you can call the police and report a criminal offence.

If you intend to move into a property, but are currently not living there (for example because you are carrying out repairs), you may also be protected by the criminal law.

The police may decide to make an arrest on suspicion of an offence under Section 7 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, which says that it is an offence, subject to certain defences set out in the Act, for a person who is on residential premises as a trespasser to fail to leave having been required to so by or on behalf of a displaced residential occupier or a protected intending occupier.

Always remember that you will have to be able to prove that you are either a displaced residential occupier or protected intending occupier of the property.
What should I do if a squatter has damaged or stolen my property?

If a squatter damages your property either whilst entering or once inside the property, they may be guilty of criminal damage. You can call the police to report this.

Similarly, if they steal items from the property, or use the utilities they may have committed a criminal offence, and you should report this to the police.
Do ‘squatters’ rights’ really exist?

The popular notion of ‘squatters rights’ arises from section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977, which makes it an offence to use violence or threats of violence to gain access to premises when there is someone on the premises who is opposed to such entry.

This was introduced to prevent unscrupulous landlords from using violence or intimidation to evict legitimate tenants. But it has also been used by squatters to oppose violent entry on the part of the property owner.

The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 made it clear that this offence does not apply to a person who is a “displaced residential occupier” or a “protected intending occupier” (or is acting on their behalf). In other words, someone who breaks down the door of their own home would not be committing any offence (providing he could prove he was the rightful occupier).

This exemption only applies to residential occupiers and protected intending occupiers. It does not extend to owners of non-residential properties, or residential properties which are not their own home.
Can squatters take ownership of the property if they stay for a certain amount of time?

Yes, but as squatters would have to remain in occupation of the property without the permission of the owner for ten years or more before they could acquire ownership of the property, it is rare for them to become the owner. The actual period of adverse possession required would depend upon whether the land is registered or unregistered.

The general rule is that 12 years adverse possession of unregistered land will bar the title of the former owner and 10 years adverse possession of registered land will entitle the squatter to apply for registration. The registered proprietor will be given the opportunity to object and in most circumstances, an objection will be successful.
How can I evict a tenant who won’t leave?

There are different sorts of tenancy and leases and landlords should carefully check both the terms of them and any statutory provisions that may apply before considering what action to take to gain possession. It is advisable for landlords to seek legal advice when seeking to evict tenants, as there are often difficult procedural requirements to be followed.

A tenant with an assured shorthold tenancy who fails to leave when asked to do so by a landlord is not a squatter and is not committing a criminal offence. Provided that any fixed term has ended, and that the correct period of notice has been given to determine the tenancy, a landlord can seek to remove him from the property by applying for a possession order in the civil courts.

Before applying for a possession order, the landlord must also comply with the specific two-month notice requirement set out in section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. This period (which may be longer than two months depending on the terms of the tenancy) must have expired before the landlord can issue their claim for possession.

If the courts grant a possession order, they will also specify a date for the tenant to leave - usually 14 days after the court hearing. However, if there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. if the tenant is ill or has very young children), the judge may delay this for up to six weeks from the date the order was made.

If the tenant does not leave by the specified date, the landlord can apply to the court for the bailiffs to evict them.
Is there a faster way of removing squatters?

Yes. The interim possession order makes it easier and quicker for people to regain possession of residential or commercial property from squatters. If the correct procedure is followed, an interim possession order can usually be obtained from the courts within a few days.

Squatters must leave the property within 24 hours of service of the interim possession order. If they do not they are committing a criminal offence and may be arrested. The offence is punishable by up to six months imprisonment.

It is also an offence for them to return to the property without the permission of rightful occupier for a period of up to 12 months from the date of service of the interim possession order.

An interim possession order does not give you final possession of the property. You must, therefore, also make an application for possession when you apply for an interim possession order. A final order for possession will normally be made at a hearing shortly after the interim possession order has been made.

Advice on applying for an interim possession order can be viewed on the HMCS website at: http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/housing/landlords/squatters/index.htm
Where can I go to for practical advice?

For practical advice on how to remove squatters from your property, you may wish to contact the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, a solicitor or local council.
© Crown Copyright 2010
ISBN: 978 1 4098 2630 9
Link

Way easier solution... GSD with a Fire hose attachment...
 

Motor Head

HIGHWAY TRASH REMOVAL
Jan 23, 2006
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Land of hicks and rubes.
#11
I guess it's safe to assume I would be in prison for killing gypsies if I lived in London and found a bunch of dirty tinkers in my house.
 

Warfarer

I can't think of anything funny.
Jun 20, 2005
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#12
I really don't even comprehend why squatter laws would ever exist. There was a thread awhile ago on here where a couple had bought land for their retirement and they held it for about 30 years and payed property taxes on it. When they started to clear they found squatters on it and the squatters sued and won the land or part of it. This is a bullshit practice and if I came home from vacation and found people squatting in my house I would kill them. No question about it, they wouldn't leave.
 

kidconnor

55gallon hog
Mar 16, 2005
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#13
Perez, 46, a former city Housing Authority worker, said the group has “two major campaigns.” One is dedicated to opposing the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” policy. The other involves schooling people about “warehoused” property.
They advocate people breaking into and squatting on vacant properties.
Then when the police are called these people get stop and frisked, at the least, which they oppose.
Love it when life works out..
 

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
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#16
I guess England doesn't subscribe to that pesky Castle doctrine or else there would be lots of gypsy brain splattered on that lady's walls.
Dude, they put people in jail for defending themselves in their own homes. Even better the criminal can sue for injuries, and you have to pay HIM for shooting him, all while you get a longer jail sentence than the shithead that broke in.

Yep... she had to go to court to get them removed. As there was no one witnessing them breaking in.

Perhaps they had one of these...

:haha7: