|squat taken in peterborough, ontario|
(Peterborough) - On Sunday June 15, 2003 community members took over an empty building as part of the Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty's second action in its "Give it or Guard it" Housing Campaign and Squatting tour. The summer-long campaign tours unused buildings in the city that could be used for affordable housing.
The squatted house is located at 1130 Water St. and is officially owned by the City of Peterborough. As far as PCAP knows, the house has been sitting empty and unused for approximately a year. One city worker told a PCAP member that the City is attempting to buy up all the houses along the river with the intent relocating or demolishing the buildings in an effort to create a green space. However, the same city worker told PCAP that this could take "forever."
Approximately 30 people are staying the night at the squat. Water and electricity are running in the squat and a kitchen is being organized. This afternoon squatters cleaned up the front yard cutting the grass and decorating the house. Some furniture has already been brought to the squat and other house plans are underway. Currently, the police have not visited the squat.
On Monday, June 16, 2003, squatters and supporters will be rallying outside the city hall and attending the city council meeting at 7pm to demand that the city address the housing crisis in Peterborough. Among the demands are: 1) Turn over the house at 1130 Water St. to the squatters to be self-managed as cooperative housing; 2) Pay for all renovation and repair to the house; 3) Create a City-financed support fund to assist residents of Peterborough whose hydro has been or will be cut off because they can not afford to pay the bill; 4) Undertake a city-wide inspection and repair blitz: Inspect and order repairs on all unsafe and substandard housing in the City. 5) Grant legal amnesty to all squatters at 1130 Water St.;
PCAP and the squatters are also hosting a housewarming potluck prior to the city council meeting.
To show your support for the squat, leave messages on the PCAP machine:
(705)-749-9694 , send mail to : PCAP SQUAT, 1130 Water Street, Peterborough ON K9H 3P6
or contact the mayor at: (705) 742-7777 ext.1870, firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Ways to Support The SQUAT...
Letters to the city supporting our demands
Letters to the paper supporting the squat
Food and Water
Anything else it takes to make a home
Friendly faces and visits to the squat to show support
The Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty (PCAP) is a group dedicated to political struggle against an economic system that maintains and profits from the inequality, indignity and needless suffering of poverty. PCAP organizes actions to support and protect low income persons or groups who are being oppressed.
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(Peterborough) ¡V As of Wednesday June 18, 2003 the Squat at 1130 Water Street is still going strong. A dozen squatters have been staying on the property (both inside the house and in tents on the back lawn) accompanied by numerous daily visitors. Negotiations with the city are underway.
PCAP Squat enters fourth night amidst negotiations with city
(Peterborough) ¡V As of Wednesday June 18, 2003 the Squat at 1130 Water Street is still going strong. A dozen squatters have been staying on the property (both inside the house and in tents on the back lawn) accompanied by numerous daily visitors. The squatters have been busy working to improve the property ¡V cutting the lawn, planning a flower garden, installing fire detectors and looking into building repairs. A communal cooking, composting and cleaning schedule has been devised and daily tasks are shared cooperatively.
The community response has been very positive ¡V the neighbours are friendly and some have donated furniture and household supplies to the squat. One neighbour even called the city to demonstrate her support. On Monday, two city planners visited the squat and indicated that they would like to resolve the matter through discussion with the squatters. The city officials assured the squatters that the police would not be called unless there were complaints from the neighbours or evidence of illegal activity. This afternoon, squatters met again with the city planners to negotiate the building's future.
City planners expressed their concerns about mould in the basement which could be toxic ¡V citing this as the reason why the previous tenant was relocated to another building. However, after reading the health inspector¡¦s report, squatters discovered that the type of mould in the building is not necessarily hazardous ¡V of a possible 185 varieties, only 20 types are considered toxic. The inspector advised a second report be conducted after a proper cleaning of the basement. Up until now the City has not followed up with this recommendation.
Upon the squatters request, the City has now promised to finance a second pre-cleaning inspection to confirm the status of the mould (by an accredited inspector of the squatters¡¦ choice). The City has also offered a contractor¡¦s estimate for repairs. If the building is officially turned over to the squatters for self-managed housing, they are willing to take care of the repairs themselves. Though previously used for affordable housing, the building has been vacant for at least 7 months since a flood damaged the basement. City planners did not repair the house because it is located on a stretch of riverside land that is slated to be converted into green space. The City intends to purchase all the houses along the river with the intent of relocating or demolishing the buildings in the vicinity. Community members took over the empty building on Sunday evening as part of the Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty¡¦s "Give it or Guard it" Housing Campaign and Squatting tour. The summer-long campaign tours unused buildings in the city that could be used for squatting or affordable housing. On Monday June 23, the squatters will take their case to city council. They will rally outside city hall at 7pm and then present their demands to council.
Peterborough Coalition Against Poverty Office Location: #17-393 Water St. at Hunter St., Peterborough, Ontario, K9H 3L7 Phone Number: 705-749-9694
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty 517 College Street, Suite 234 Toronto, Ontario M6G 4A2 416-925-6939 email@example.com www.ocap.ca
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