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Vic squatters given last minute reprieve

AAP logoAAP 14/08/2016 Helen Velissaris

Squatters living in a number of homes acquired by the Victorian government for a failed road project have been given a small reprieve from eviction.

A last minute injunction granted by the Supreme Court Sunday evening has prevented Victoria Police and the state government from forcibly removing dozens of homeless squatters from 13 properties in Collingwood, Parkville and Clifton Hill.

The homes were compulsorily acquired by the former coalition government for the East West Link before Labor pulled the pin on the road project.

The residents were handed eviction notices on Thursday and were going to be removed on Monday, according to the group that represents the residents.

"The injunction has delayed what was expected to be a significant police operation on Monday, and many residents including pregnant women and women fleeing domestic violence will rest easier knowing the police will not arrive overnight to make them homeless again," the group Houses Need People, People Need Houses said in a statement on Sunday.

The injunction is in effect until 10.30am on Monday, and the matter will be heard by the court in the coming days.

The government says the properties have been leased by the Salvation Army for people in need including women and children fleeing family violence.

Victorian Housing Minister Martin Foley says the squatters are keeping those at need out of housing.

"What they (the squatters) are seeking to do is make a political point - they are stopping desperately needed housing being used by homeless families," he told 3AW radio on Friday.

Single mother Edith Terricks who fled her home after suffering domestic violence now lives in one of the properties illegally.

"I've been to every single housing service, all that they can offer us is a room in a motel, which is extremely dangerous for me, because if I'm alone my partner could find me," she said.

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