The Story of the Squat House on Anna Haava Street 7a, Tartu
Squatting matches the need and the opportunity.
It is recycling to restore buildings that have been empty for years, and to bring them back to life. Houses often stand empty because of the indifference or helplessness of their owners; while those who, on the one hand, are in need, and, on the other hand, have ideas on what to do with the buildings, have no ownership. In Tartu, squatting has usually meant short term occupation of buildings, but since the spring of 2011, squatters have taken over the house of Anna Haava Street 7a. The squatters had three objectives: to raise the problem of empty buildings in Estonia and to introduce squatting as a means for taking abandoned houses into use; to establish living quarters on the first and second floor for those in need; to create an open community centre on the ground floor for public use. Voluntary work, joint activities, environmental sustainability and green ideas are the founding principles in the house. But first and foremost this is a place for human beings. Squatting gives a new life to empty buildings and supports the shaping of a community where principles of mutual assistance can function.