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Alternative for squatting???

September 29, 2005

So I got a comment on the squatting entry as follows:

yeah its totally disgusting when people take inniative and house themselves . people who own enough property that they forget about some of them totally deserve our sympathy. maybe we should set up some kind of donation pool to help support wealthy land owners?

OK, unless things are vastly different in the Netherlands and the government doesn’t care about taxes, I think anyone would have a hard time believing that owners can possibly forget about a property. They get a yearly reminder that they own x piece of land. If they are rich enough to sit on a property for a year and not use it, they certainly do not need us to support them. It is this ridiculous attitude that taints most of the pro-squatting sites and makes people side with the owners.

OK, so it seems in the rules of squatting that you have to verify with the city that a piece of property is vacant for a year. So therefore the city should know what property is vacant. When they identify vacant property, I think they should proactively notify the owner and give them a deal: drop the taxes a bit, in return for turning the place into public housing for 5 or 10 years. They will also get a little bit of rent to help pay for expenses of the property. Tenants get a LEGAL place to stay for years at a time. Property owners know they can make plans to use the property at the end of the ‘lease’. Everyone is happy. And more importantly nobody has to be underhanded about anything and take over what doesn’t belong to them.

Or maybe I am missing something. Please tell me why squatting is a good thing. Because I can’t see any reason why anyone should agree with the idea…

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