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Shack and squat housing

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Shack Dwelling or Squatting

Some of the homeless who cannot afford any normal legal housing, often just because they cannot get the housing loans or welfare available to others, do in desperation resort to illegal shack dwelling or to illegal squatting.

Shack dwellers

Shack dwellers generally build a small shack from junk materials on public land where others also have done so. Such shack settlements can involve thousands of crowded shacks with no electricity, water or sanitation.

Squatters generally occupies an empty house with other squatters, which although a more adequate building may also have no electricity or water.

To get electricity and water, shack dwellers and squatters often have to pay much more than their normal price, and they often also must face eviction and extreme social exclusion. Legal ownership claims can improve or worsen their poor illegal housing situation.

These desperate situations need more affordable housing, often requiring only that shack dwellers and squatters can get normal housing loans or welfare - but they themselves can often best advise on the cheapest local solutions. And shack settlements do need to be demolished, and squatting ended, equitably and with suitable legal housing options. see Nomad or Gypsy

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