Squats are re-occupied abandoned dwellings. They are not exactly legal, but what does that even mean anyways? Oakland has a lot of these, but their locations are sensitive information. Many squats are in foreclosed properties and are owned by whichever bank or holding company was left holding the grenade when the housing bubble burst and the people with underwater mortgages were evicted. Many of these properties remain uninhabited (officially) because of speculation about rising prices and an unwillingness of banks to write off losses, which impacts their market capitalization and share price.