C Squat is a squat located at 155 Avenue C in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, in an area called Loisaida.

In 2002, the government of New York City granted ownership of 11 squats on the Lower East Side to the Urban Homesteading Assistance board, including C-Squat; UHAB is in the process of securing loans to help repair the buildings, after which ownership will be turned over to the occupants. Accordingly, C-Squat is no longer technically a "squat", but rather a legally occupied building, bought by the squatters in a deal brokered with the city council by the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board in 2002 for one dollar.[1] It is a punk house.

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The building had a half-pipe for skaters in the basement and used to regularly host punk rock shows, but these are now on hiatus due to construction.[2]

Members of the bands Leftöver Crack[3], Morning Glory, Casa de Chihuahua, Star Fucking Hipsters, d60, Planned Collapse, and Banji live there. In the past, it has been home to members of the bands INDK, Choking Victim, No Commercial Value, Eden and John's East River String Band, and Nausea, among others.

The building has also hosted a number of artists and activists throughout its history, as Robert Neuwirth discovered when he wrote his article, Squatter's Rites for City Limits Magazine, "To climb the steps in C Squat is to walk up a living graffiti artwork. The halls resemble subway cars a few decades ago. But instead of monikers, these tags are battle cries for revolution, outlaw logos, complaints and humorous takes on official slogans..." [4]


When it was first squatted, the building was falling apart and central joists had to be replaced. These were sourced second-hand and as cheaply as possible. All repairs on the gutted structure were performed by the squatters themselves, transforming the space as they worked on it. The DIY rehabilitation of the building was no small task, as Neuwirth noted in his article. "At C Squat, the beams were so rotted that the building had sunk almost a foot in the center. The squatters jacked the building up and replaced the joists one by one. They got their replacement beams from workers at a nearby gut rehab. In return for six-packs of beer, the workers saved the old but still usable joists they were removing and passed them on to the squatters." [5]

Under the terms of the homesteading agreement made in 2002, the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board will provide a loan for essential renovations (bringing the building up to city code regulations), which the squatters will perform as much as possible themselves to reduce costs. When the work is finished, the residents will own the building as a limited equity co-operative. They will be financially responsible for maintenance and UHAB loan repayment.[6]


  1. Wilson, Michael. "Squatters Get New Name: Residents" in the New York Times (August 21, 2002) Available online
  2. ed. Hammett, J and Hammett, K (2007) The Suburbanization of New York (Princeton Architectural Press) ISBN-10: 1568986785
  3. Barker S, A Conversation With Stza and Ezra in Rockzone
  4. Neuwirth R Squatters' Rites in City Limits Magazine (September/October 2002) Available online
  5. Neuwirth R Squatters' Rites in City Limits Magazine (September/October 2002) Available online
  6. Ferguson S Better Homes and Squatters in the Village Voice, available online

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

C Squat BandsEdit

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