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Fell
12-12-2007, 03:00 PM
http://www.yesmagazine.org/images/issues/85/44PTCharge_Prestesbldg.jpg

This is an interesting article about the homeless taking over buildings in downtown São Paulo where the Brazilian Constitution recognizes the right to housing and states that all property must serve a “social function.”

People Taking Charge :4: Homeless Build Community (http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?id=2134)

I understand it's not like there's an abundance of empty housing in Edmonton, but there are empty buildings all over this city. What if some of the orgs dedicated to combating homelessness could take control and use the people they're helping to work on setting up shop in some of these places till better alternatives are investigated?

I don't know much about this, just throwing it out there for curiosity's sake.

ThomasH
12-12-2007, 11:04 PM
This thread belongs in Politics.

snakes on a blog
13-12-2007, 12:32 PM
There are 3 reasons why a property owner/city/province would not condone the homeless setting up in an abandoned building:

1) Liability
2) Liability, and you guessed it,
3) Liability

highlander
13-12-2007, 01:04 PM
Have we ever had buildings that were truely abandoned, not just vacant?

240GLT
14-12-2007, 09:32 AM
I would consider the Fed or the old BOM abandoned, for the simple reason that the owners of the buildings have not maintained them, and they have fallen into disrepair. They are un-useable in their current state, therefore they have been abandoned by their owners.

Not that I think homeless people should just move into abandoned buildings like these... the risks to life & property are much too great.

McCauley resident
14-12-2007, 07:44 PM
Have we ever had buildings that were truely abandoned, not just vacant?
Would the house next to me that has been "under construction" for seven years with nobody living in it - would this house that has been reported to the city many times without any resolution - would this house that will crumble to the ground before power gets turned on...

Is this house considered abandoned or vacant........ :smt017

Denizen
14-12-2007, 09:42 PM
Have we ever had buildings that were truely abandoned, not just vacant?
Would the house next to me that has been "under construction" for seven years with nobody living in it - would this house that has been reported to the city many times without any resolution - would this house that will crumble to the ground before power gets turned on...

Is this house considered abandoned or vacant........ :smt017

Abandoned in my view.

Denizen
14-12-2007, 09:49 PM
From the first post, an interesting one, I would suggest that even though buildings are vacant, they are still owned by someone or some organisation. "Abandoned" buildings are obviously in disrepair and would not likely pass safe fire standards etc. So, it would be unwise for people to dwell in those dysfunctional buildings.

Perhaps bylaws need to be more proactive or changed, but I don't see these buildings as a safe alternative. They may provide shelter for folks in desparate need, but it wouldn't be a safe alternative to supervised shelters.

McCauley resident
14-12-2007, 10:21 PM
"Abandoned" buildings are obviously in disrepair and would not likely pass safe fire standards etc. So, it would be unwise for people to dwell in those dysfunctional buildings.
How about a van.............. :smt017

A half a block away is a van parked in the driveway. Power from the house gives lighting inside the van - some sort of heat I presume...

At my request - the Health inspector talked to a woman outside the van a few months ago who said that they were leaving at the end of the month (they did not) & that the person in the house let them use the washroom facilities.

I called the Health inspector the other day saying they were still there & asked if this was legal - I was curious because there is obviously no running water or washroom facilities (both are mandatory when a landlord provides a suite).

His response was so long as he did not see the yard being used as a washroom, he saw nothing wrong with it...

So why doesn't the city get a bunch of abandoned vans then park them outside the heated washroom facilities at Dawson Park.....

Denizen
15-12-2007, 08:39 AM
"Abandoned" buildings are obviously in disrepair and would not likely pass safe fire standards etc. So, it would be unwise for people to dwell in those dysfunctional buildings.
How about a van.............. :smt017

A half a block away is a van parked in the driveway. Power from the house gives lighting inside the van - some sort of heat I presume...

At my request - the Health inspector talked to a woman outside the van a few months ago who said that they were leaving at the end of the month (they did not) & that the person in the house let them use the washroom facilities.

I called the Health inspector the other day saying they were still there & asked if this was legal - I was curious because there is obviously no running water or washroom facilities (both are mandatory when a landlord provides a suite).

His response was so long as he did not see the yard being used as a washroom, he saw nothing wrong with it...
So why doesn't the city get a bunch of abandoned vans then park them outside the heated washroom facilities at Dawson Park.....

No wonder you are scratching your head! :wink: I am not sure the information the health inspector provided is accurate. In saying that, I have seen RV's parked in driveways presumably with people staying for a weekend or whatever. Hhhmmmmm. :smt102

McCauley resident
01-11-2008, 01:43 AM
No wonder you are scratching your head! :wink: I am not sure the information the health inspector provided is accurate. In saying that, I have seen RV's parked in driveways presumably with people staying for a weekend or whatever. Hhhmmmmm. :smt102

A few days ago (ten months later) six Think Green pick up trucks plus another with a trailer parked on my street - they waited for bylaw officers & a police officer to show up...

They took everything away & towed the five derelict vehicles (filled with junk) from the property.... Not sure who finally convinced the City to do something but........ :smt058

PickLeZ
10-11-2008, 02:11 AM
Many Canadian cities have had successful squats setup in abandoned properties by coalitions of social activists, community members and homeless. The term of occupation varies widely depending on how high-profile the location is. Days/Weeks/even years before the squatters get thrown out, depending on the objectives of the groups involved.

As mentioned, liability issues as well as the danger of setting precedent in a Common-law environment categorically remove the option of working with property owners to achieve a legitimate arrangement for these purposes.

Nonetheless, even whilst operating outside of legal boundaries, victories can and are achieved by groups who approach these actions with focused objectives and a detailed strategy. This would represent a small percentage overall.

For the most part, the cops seal off the street, and late one night, when the least amount of people and cameras are watching, they shoot gas through the windows, set off flash-bangs, and storm the property at gunpoint, dragging dirty hippies and frail homeless people out by their hair and ears, pepper spraying them and beating'em up for fun. Even in such an instance, however, it can be a boon to homeless groups to know that there are people of a higher socio-economic status who will stand with them and put themselves at that level of risk to advance the cause of a fellow human being.