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Squatters occupy Isle of Dogs block desperate over housing list

PUBLISHED: 08:01 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 05 October 2010

One squatter (above) keeps watch after take-over

One squatter (above) keeps watch after take-over

Carmen Valino

A BLOCK of empty flats have been taken over by squatters despairing at the length of the housing waiting list in London’s East End. The squatters moved into vacant flats on the Isle of Dogs over the Bank Holiday weekend in what nearby neighbours described as “a military-type operation”

By Julia Gregory

A BLOCK of empty flats has been taken over by squatters despairing at the length of the housing waiting list in London’s East End.

The squatters moved into vacant flats at Glengarnock Avenue at Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs, over the Bank Holiday weekend in what nearby neighbours described as “a military-type operation.”

Most of the block owned by Eastend Homes has been empty for nine months after families were paid £4,000 each to be rehoused elsewhere.

The squatters occupying 24 flats insist they want to live quietly and don’t want to disturb neighbours.

“We want to do this by the book,” one squatter named George told the East London Advertiser.

“I moved from another squat because of disruptive elements.”

The squatters who want to join the Tower Hamlets 22,000-long housing waiting list for social-rented properties say they took desperate measures in fear of never getting to the top of the list.

Eastend Homes say it is taking legal action to get the squatters out and repossess the block “as soon as possible.”


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