Oxford

Oxford University squatters evicted for third time

Iffley Open House in Summertown
Image caption Iffley Open House began occupying an unused Italian restaurant in Summertown in April, but will have to vacate the property

A homeless group which occupied two Oxford University buildings will be evicted from a third property.

Iffley Open House began squatting in an unused Italian restaurant in Summertown in April, but a court order means the group must leave by 7 April.

Members previously occupied a vacant car showroom in Iffley - owned by Wadham College - for two months.

Anyone still in the property on South Parade could be arrested for ignoring the interim possession order.

'Epidemic of homelessness'

Homelessness campaigner and Iffley Open House member "Neo" said: "It seems a shame to leave a building empty when there is an epidemic of homelessness in Oxford."

The group claims that two people have been re-housed and seven had found jobs as a result of the project.

"Neo" added: "A lot of these people - when they end up on the street - they've lost everything.

"And what you need to do is you need to build them up, get them back into work, [and] give them purpose."

The owner of the property has been approached for comment.

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Media captionCampaigners and homeless people began Iffley Road Open House on New Year's Eve

Iffley Open House began on New Year's Eve, when a group of 20 homeless people moved into the Wadham College-owned car showroom.

The group was given a stay of execution by the college, but were evicted on 27 February when demolition work began on the building, which will make way for student housing.

Image copyright Bill Nicholls
Image caption The homeless group moved to Osney Mill - owned by Oxford University - on 26 February

Immediately after the squatters were evicted the group occupied Osney Mill, another Oxford University-owned building.

The university were granted a court order to repossess the property on 13 March, which the institution claimed was unsafe for human habitation.

A spokesman added the site was due to be redeveloped by Saïd Business School.

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