URGENT: Bond Precaire Woonvorm is looking for (legal) supporters for anti-squat residents in trouble

De Bond Precaire Woonvorm is increasingly being approached by anti-squat residents who run into problems with an anti-squat agency.

The Bond Precaire Woonvorm (BPW) was established to demand the housing rights of anti-squat residents and to guarantee those of other 'flex residents'. The BPW is the specialist in the field of unpredictable housing and actively informs and advises on the risky aspects of anti-squat and other precarious forms of housing. The Bond also offers legal back-up, in terms of content, morality and finance, for flex residents who want to stand up for their rights.

Example: A young woman finds two inspectors from the anti-squat agency in her living room when she comes home. They sit on her couch and eat cookies from her cookie jar. She is furious and because she wants it never to happen again, she puts a different lock on her front door. “If the anti-squat agency wants to come by, they should make an appointment with me”, she thinks. The anti-squat agency fined her for this. Because she refuses to hand in a copy of the new key, the anti-squat agency cancels the contract.

Another example: A man reports eight times to the anti-squat bureau that the central heating boiler in his home has been broken for weeks. After reporting this several times, the anti-squat agency has still not done anything to repair the boiler, the man is forbidden to do this himself. The winter has now started and the man still writes an email to the anti-squat agency that they "must hurry up" with the repair. The anti-squat agency responds with a warning and says that if he strikes such a tone one more time, they will terminate his contract.

People knock on the door of the BPW with these kinds of stories. They do not want to be intimidated or evicted by the anti-squat company, but often do not know what their rights are and how to deal with the situation. In practice, the BPW then provides information and advice about the rights that anti-squat residents have. The Bond also thinks along about how exactly to deal with the situation. This is often very reassuring for residents and they feel empowered to stand up for their rights. Experience shows that this resident support is very effective.

Because more and more of these types of situations and signals are emerging, the BPW is looking for people who want to volunteer as resident support workers. When a situation arises, you get a phone call asking if you have time to support that person. The basic principle of the BPW is that residents do this themselves as much as possible. The supporter is there for substantive and moral support.

Legal knowledge of tenancy and residential law is important. If necessary, the Bond can provide you with additional training. Interest in and/or experience in standing up for residents' interests and union work is necessary. Residential support at the BPW is a very special form of volunteer work in which people are helped in a direct way. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone with motivation to develop your skills as a starting community worker or lawyer.

If you are interested and/or want to know more, please contact the BPW or call: 06 – 47686543 (Abel Heijkamp).

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