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Former Squatters Can't Cash In

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The Villager files a lengthy story on a topic that is sure to rile folks up: the ownership status of former squats in the East Village. In 2002, after years of evictions, City Hall sold 11 remaining squats for $1 each to a nonprofit group that would help squatters bring their buildings up to code and turn the units into permanently affordable co-ops. Now that those renovations are finally done and the buildings are ripe for conversion, some tenants argue that the renovations were financed with unfair loans that have saddled the former squats with crushing debt. Some want to own their apartments, while others want to be able to sell them above the agreed-upon caps. [Villager]