Monday, 13 April 2009


Voxsquatpop asks ordinary people - what they think of squatting, who they think squats, would they squat, if the financial crisis will encourage more squatting, and if squatting needs a better word to describe it.

Transit surveyor, from Portland, OR, USA

My opinion of squatting has changed over the years. When I was a teenager, I found the idea very exciting and liberating, a real way to "stick it to the man". As I've gotten older, I've become less rebellious but I still find people making homes in unused places a really promising idea.

I'd imagine there are many different types, people who want to live off the grid, people who want to make use of available resources that are otherwise just taking up space, plain old broke folks, etc.

I used to think I would squat, but not anymore. I'm too lazy to build my own place from scratch, and I'm also on the paranoid side. There are more restrictions on squatting in the US that I don't want to have to worry about.

Yes, I think it will. People have less money to spend on housing, and there will be more empty buildings that companies won't be able to do anything with for a while.

What, like something that doesn't bring to mind taking a dump in the woods? It couldn't hurt. But, I have no suggestions for a substitute.

Shelter designer, based in South London

I think that squatting is the thin edge of the wedge of land reform in the UK and Europe in general. That makes it important.

All the squatters I know are adventurers who want free time to explore life, not work for a comfy nest.

I quite often camped illegally in national parks in America when I was travelling, that's sort of squatting. It was fun to live in the woods. Urban squatting, I dunno, the legal stuff is not my scene. I try and stay out of trouble.

I think it has already, and this is just the beginning.

No, I think squatting is just fine. If there has to be change, I think we need a different legal framework around it *and then* a new word. But any new legal framework is likely to have fewer squatters rights than exist now, and be a bad thing, so let's lay low eh?