Website promoting squatting in Richmond - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Website promoting squatting in Richmond

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email                                      

Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A new website is promoting squatting in Richmond. That's where people live in empty homes they do not own. It's illegal, and the site, which claims to be funny, is directing people to real foreclosed homes in the city.

Real estate agents across Richmond are doing damage control taking down cardboard, spray painted signs that say 'Squat it', encouraging people to break-in and live in empty homes for free.

Squat to own dot com hit the internet two days ago. It claims to be a satirical website advertising zero down, no monthly payments ever. It encourages squatting and even includes a map of properties that are actual foreclosed homes in Richmond.

We went to some of the locations and found squating signs and a lot of curious neighbors.

"When I saw the sign this morning I was trying to figure out what is, squat it, and then I saw squat dot com," said Justina Jackson.

"It's scary. It's real scary. It's hard, you know living in a neighborhood people can look on a website to find a house," said Latrice Allen.

Laura Holly lives right next door to a foreclosed home with a squat it sign.

"It's kind of nice the thought of it. But the reality of it that's just kind of not right, not right at all," said Laura.

Kelly King Horne is the Executive Director of Homeward an agency that helps the homeless in our area.

"We would love the fact for neighborhoods to welcome people into housing, but not like this," said Horne.

Horne says nearly nine percent of the homeless in Richmond experienced a foreclosure. She likes the groups passion, but thinks there's a better way to help.

"We really need to find a way to channel this passion to what we know works to end homelessness. For families and individuals. Really connecting passion to solutions," Horne said.

As for neighbors in Church Hill and south Richmond, they think the home addresses should be taken off the website.

"I live here and I don't want people in the neighborhood breaking into homes. Living in homes for free. Cause it's going to bring crime to our neighborhood," said Jackson.

We tracked down the group that created the website. A member said the campaign was meant to raise awareness about homelessness and the housing crisis in Richmond.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Goochland mother shoots New Zealand man attempting to break into home

    Goochland mother shoots New Zealand man attempting to break into home

    Saturday, June 23 2018 9:38 AM EDT2018-06-23 13:38:02 GMT
    There is no update on the man's condition. (Source: RNN)There is no update on the man's condition. (Source: RNN)

    A man is in custody after breaking shot at while trying to break into a Goochland home--just two days after moving to America. 

    More >>

    A man is in custody after breaking shot at while trying to break into a Goochland home--just two days after moving to America. 

    More >>
  • Bomb threat at Walmart Distribution Center in Dinwiddie, employees evacuated

    Bomb threat at Walmart Distribution Center in Dinwiddie, employees evacuated

    Saturday, June 23 2018 9:21 AM EDT2018-06-23 13:21:15 GMT

    Employees were evacuated from the Walmart Distribution Center on Cox Road in Dinwiddie Saturday morning after a bomb threat was called in. 

    Stay with NBC12 for the latest updates. 

    More >>

    Employees were evacuated from the Walmart Distribution Center on Cox Road in Dinwiddie Saturday morning after a bomb threat was called in. 

    Stay with NBC12 for the latest updates. 

    More >>
  • BREAKING

    Richmond Police investigating after three men shot

    Richmond Police investigating after three men shot

    Saturday, June 23 2018 8:36 AM EDT2018-06-23 12:36:19 GMT
    Police are searching for a suspect after three men were shot in Richmond. (Source: NBC12)Police are searching for a suspect after three men were shot in Richmond. (Source: NBC12)

    Richmond police are investigating after three men were shot early Saturday morning. Off-duty officers were in the 1500 block of East Main Street at 1:49 a.m., when they heard reported gunfire in the area. Officers conducted a search and located a man with a gunshot wound in the parking lot of Main Street Station. A short time later, officers found a man in a car nearby suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Both men were taken to the hospital with life-threatening inj...

    More >>

    Richmond police are investigating after three men were shot early Saturday morning. Off-duty officers were in the 1500 block of East Main Street at 1:49 a.m., when they heard reported gunfire in the area. Officers conducted a search and located a man with a gunshot wound in the parking lot of Main Street Station. A short time later, officers found a man in a car nearby suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Both men were taken to the hospital with life-threatening inj...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly