The Real Deal New York

City-funded non-profit teaches homeless to “homestead” vacant apartments

March 26, 2012 09:00AM

A Bronx non-profit that has received city funding is offering homeless New Yorkers lessons on how to squat in city-owned buildings.

According to the New York Post, Andres Perez, a board member of Bronx-based Picture the Homeless, held a course to teach homeless people to take control of vacant apartments. The meeting was held outside a largely vacant East New York housing complex called Arlington Village.

Perez told the group that after removing chains and padlock, they should set up utilities and complete a change-of-address form at the post office. At that point, he said, the court will permit the person to control the property.

Picture the Homeless has received about a quarter of a million dollars in city funding over the past five years.

While residents of the complex and others are outraged by the advocacy for “squatting,” Perez insisted the practice he preaches is called “homesteading” which is permeant occupation of “warehoused” property. [Post]