Saturday, September 10, 2011

when the city owns vacant buildings

The Squatters Advis­ory Service in the UK submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Camden Council in London seeking a complete list of vacant properties in the area. The group has now won a court judgment in its favor -- a decision one City Councillor described as "lunacy."

But Paul Reynolds, a spokesman for Squash, a squatters' rights group, makes a lot of sense when he explains the decision: “It is about accountability. They will no longer be able to hide the extent of empty, publicly-owned housing in Camden. And if nothing is done to fix, repair or fill an empty home, homeless people can move in until this is done, which is a good thing. If Camden does not want this to happen, they should put people in these properties.”

That's a bright idea. Are you listening, Detroit (and all the other American cities with large patches of abandonment)?

The Camden New Journal offers the details.

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