Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Step Towards Victory for the Squat

Critical Moment for 1130 Water St.
We Need Your Support Today!!

Please e-mail endorsements/support to City Council (details below).


On Monday night, the squatters (who have been occupying an empty city building since June 15th), along wiht PCAP, made an incredibly well-received presentation to the Peterborough City Council (see below for details about the proposal that was presented). Although the City originally asked the squatters to leave the building on Tuesday until the safety risks of the mold in the house could be determined, the squatters now seem to have a few more days in the house while we wait for the City's response to the presentation. The City has agreed to spend $5000 on a study to investigate the mold as well as the cost to remove it. One councillor is even quoted as saying that the squatters/PCAP "may have come up with a model that works extremely well for a lot of people."

The council meeting was attended by many supporters as well as a national rep from the CAW and the president of the Peterborough & District Labour Council - both of whom are exploring tangible ways to support and work in partnership with the the squatters and the City. The squatters are also investigating the inclusion of another local organization to oversee some hands-off responsibility for what will be a self-managed home. As the city councillor's consider the squatters' proposal regarding the future of 1130 Water St. the next few days are a critical time for the squat.

The squatters are confident that they will be able to reach an agreement with the City which will be agreeable and beneficial to everyone involved. We also know that support from the local community and beyond is crucial for the City to endorse the squat proposal.

Now, more than ever, we need a demonstration of support from individuals and organizations in the Peterborough community. Let the City know that you / your organization endorse this innovative and creative project where diverse partners will join together to provide affordable housing for homeless members of this community.

Send your letters of support and endorsement to these Councillors and City Officials:
Please copy all e-mails to: slamble@pipcom.com


Squatters' Proposal to City Council:

In order to come to a mutual agreement regarding the future use of 1130 Water Street which will both address City concerns and create affordable housing, PCAP has developed a proposal for Council to consider. Although we began last Sunday with 5 demands to the City, in the spirit of cooperation and compromise we have significantly changed our proposal so as to accommodate the city's concerns. Based on discussions of the City's Draft 'Letter of Understanding' dated June 18, 2003, PCAP proposes the following:

a) PCAP agrees to take full responsibility for the improvements necessary to ensure a safe standard of occupancy (as agreed by the occupants and the City) at 1130 Water Street;

b) The City will authorize a 5-year loan of 1130 Water Street to PCAP or an entity on behalf of PCAP to be self-managed by its occupants; Given that PCAP will bear the costs of repairs on a building that the City intended to keep empty, we feel it is not unreasonable for rental payments to be waived;

c) The occupants at 1130 Water Street agree to pay all utility costs during the 5 years;

d) The occupants will be granted access to the property unless the building is proven to be hazardous, at which point, the occupants must be provided with alternative housing as agreeable to them. If such housing is not found the occupants must be allowed to remain on the property outside the building;

e) The City will increase the funding and supports available to assist residents of Peterborough whose hydro has been or will be cut off because they can not afford to pay the bill;

(NOTE: For a full-copy of the 5 page presentation, please contact slamble@pipcom.com and we will forward you a copy).