Squatters at Oxford Leaving University To Turn Space Into Student Flats


About 20 people who moved in to a building in Oxford on New Year's Eve are leaving as they were only given until Monday to stay. They are said to be moving into another university building.

This group has occupied a former car showroom owned by an Oxford college and used it as a homeless shelter, Independent reported. They have been sleeping in that space since New Year's Eve. The said building was vacant since it was bought by Wadham College in 2015 and Wadham received an open letter from the squatters asking for their permission so that they can continue to use the space until winter.

According to Leaseholder Midcounties Co-operative, the squatters could stay until April, however, Wadham said it needs the building back because they are turning it into student flats, BBC reported.

A spokesman for the Iffley Open House campaign group told how the space had been very helpful especially to those who desperately needed it. They also have resident that is moving to the university.

The group general manager at Midcounties Co-operative, Kevin Brown said that the company had a legal obligation to return the site to Wadham College. He explained that although they were granted a repossession order, it is their decision to not to use it.

Wadham College, part of the University of Oxford said that they have "deep sympathy" for the people who do not have shelter, but they could no longer delay the development.

Oxford University own dozens of buildings which lie empty for several years, for which reason the group of the homeless people wrote a letter of request for them to be allowed to stay in the place during the winter. Even the students of Wadham have been very supportive about the shelter project which they said was the least they could do to fight the housing situation in their city.

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