A group of Belgravia-based squatters that are facing eviction have pledged to use the platform to expose the scandal of “buy to leave” properties.
The occupiers call themselves the Autonomous Nation of Anarchistic Libertarians and are known by the acronym Anal.
They started squatting in Oligarch Andrey Goncharenko’s property in Eaton Square in Belgravia when they climbed in through an open window on the 23rd January. The property is valued at £15m and is situated in one of the most expensive property districts in the world.
The group have started to use the empty home as a temporary shelter for homeless people.
Veteran housing campaigner and squatter, Pete Pheonix, said, “We need a sensible strategy to recycle and reuse all the empty residential and commercial buildings in the UK. We recycle and reuse glass, paper and plastic, so why not empty buildings? Cross-party cooperation is required at all levels to find solutions.”
Another member of Anal, Jed Miller, 25 said that the way expensive property is bought is often enshrined in shadowy business interests which he hopes the eviction hearing will highlight.
Two Hundred Thousand Homes Empty Longer than Six Months
Official figures have revealed that two hundred thousand homes are emptier longer than six months. The number of homeless that are sleeping rough in England rose by 16% to 4000 people. The number of homes that are empty in England in total is six hundred thousand.
Buy to Leave
There is evidence to show that buy to leave is a real issue in England’s affluent areas. This can be an investment so that when the property is sold in a few years time it yields a tidy sum, but it can also be used to money launder.
A new report from The Empty Homes Agency has called for the mayor of London to take measures to stop “buy to leave”.