Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

The Post-bag Emptied: Letters To Squall

What Choice?

Squall 4, April/May 1993, pg. 25.


I had squatted in London for three years before I saved up what I thought would be enough money to go renting. However other costs appeared beside my £300 deposit and one months rent in advance, including deposits for electricity and phone of £250, and the cost of a removal van. This massive outlay on one day left me badly in debt. From my £120 a week wage, the £70 a week rent, the poll tax, bills and living costs don’t leave much remaining.

The debts have to be repaid and my situation as my lease drains to an end seems less certain and secure than it did when squatting. One option is to lose my job and claim unemployment and housing benefit, although I have a friend in this unenviable situation who has trouble getting the DSS to pay on time. The other alternative is to reluctantly return to squatting where a larger community means shared costs, although the thought of the eternal upheavals doesn’t make this a good option either. Yours faithfully,

A. Lathdrea, N16