New Yorkers on edge amid recent spike in squatters across the city

Families spoke in Gravesend on Thursday to share their past experiences with squatters who have been protected by law.

Shniece Archer and Adolfo Carrion

Apr 4, 2024, 9:48 PM

Updated 55 days ago

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Squatting is a concerning trend taking over the vacant homes of New York City, and many are now calling for action.
Councilmember Susan Zhuang and other elected officials came together for a press conference to show the magnitude of the issue. Families spoke in Gravesend on Thursday, sharing their past experiences with squatters who have been protected by law.
Squatters move into vacant homes without permission and make it their place of residence. If they remain there for over 30 days, they are not legally allowed to be removed by the homeowner without law enforcement intervention.
“We are the people [who] own a small house, really work hard, check by check, we are real small homeowners across my district,” said Zhuang. “A lot of working families and immigrants came to our community to pursue American dreams like me."
Local leaders and community members are calling for changes to squatter’s rights laws to protect the homes they rightfully own and their neighborhoods.


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