Rights

Squatters turn oligarch’s empty London property into homeless shelter

A veteran group of squatters has occupied an empty £15m central London property purchased by a Russian oligarch in 2014 and opened it as a homeless shelter.

The extensive, five-storey Grade ll-listed Eaton Square property was bought by Andrey Goncharenko, a little-known oligarch who has bought a number of luxury properties in London in recent years.

The squatters — Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians, known as ANAL — said they entered the building through an open window on 23 January and have accommodated about 25 homeless people so far, many of whom had been sleeping rough around Victoria station.

Tom Fox, 23, one of the squatters, said: It is criminal that there are so many homeless people and at the same time so many empty buildings. Our occupation is highlighting this injustice.

New rough sleeper figures published this week have revealed an increase of 16% from last year, to more than 4,000.

More than 200,000 homes have been empty for more than six months, according to new government figures — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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