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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Squatting in the USA

May 23 2009
Anti-poverty campaigners in the US have been relocating homeless families into vacant properties Anti-poverty campaigners in the US have been relocating homeless families hit by the foreclosure crisis into vacant properties, pushing the number of squatters up. Since October 2008, Miami-based Take Back The Land has settled six families into government-owned homes or bank owned foreclosures, while nine others are on a waiting list. The activist group is also providing the families with second-hand furniture and cleaning supplies, while the squatters have to pay utility bills and maintain the property while they are residing there. Speaking to American TV networks, Max Rameau, cofounder of Take Back The Land, said: "There are large numbers of people right now who don't have a place to stay, human beings who don't have anywhere to live, and there are corporations who are getting billions of dollars in tax money so that they can keep homes vacant and make them available later for sale and profit. "It's immoral to have vacant homes on one side of the street and homeless families living in parks and sleeping in bushes on the other. It makes perfect sense to match these people-less homes with homeless people." The grassroots group launched its campaign to help some of the victims of the property downturn as the state of Florida has been among the hardest hit areas in the US, having the country's second highest foreclosure rate. Elsewhere, some home owners in Atlanta, where foreclosures are described as an "epidemic", are paying homeless people to live in their empty property as a security measure, while in Cleveland campaigners are in talks with the city to allow homeless people to relocate into and repair vacant, decaying houses. Get more information on squatting at