Tenants Marshallaan Utrecht take action against eviction by Portaal and Wolf Housing Group

DSC_1234Today the residents of the Marshalllaan in Kanaleneiland campaigned against their eviction. The apartments of housing corporation Portaal are scheduled to be demolished in a few years, but a selected group of residents have already been forced to leave their accommodation. Portaal is planning to convert their house into temporary housing. The residents do not agree with this and therefore have an action committee Marshall plan established.

The temporary tenants on Marshalllaan will have to make way for residents from Kanaleneiland Zuid, who will be given a temporary home during the renovation of their own home. The residents of Marshalllaan have received both verbal and written assurances from Portaal that they could continue to live in their flat until the actual demolition. “You can see a demolition coming well in advance, not this one,” said Marlise Trouwborst of the action committee. “We have dared to build a life here and are all involved in making the neighborhood liveable in our own way. That makes the expansion extra sour.”

The residents have no intention of leaving. Signatures were previously offered to the municipality of Utrecht and Portaal. Marlise: “More actions are planned. Portaal must come up with a solution that is good for both the residents of Kanaleneiland Zuid and Marshalllaan. Until then, we will continue.”

The BPW supports these tenants in the fight for their housing and calls on all precarious tenants to show solidarity. “It is a pity that Portaal does not pick up the ball and listens to its tenants, that is not in the spirit of a housing corporation. People are not moving animals! In this way, all kinds of unnecessary moving movements are made. Corporations should simply start doing what they were founded for, which is to provide sufficient stable and affordable housing. Increasing construction production is crucial in this regard. Unfortunately, these ambitions, among other things due to the financial squeeze of corproations by the national government, are becoming less and less real”.

Political policy of flexibility.

In addition to the increasingly advancing and politically advocated flexibilization of labor, a colony of disenfranchised and precarious people is now also emerging in the area of housing, who find themselves housed in a jungle of flexible contracts. The resulting poverty and insecurity is therefore a direct result of the increasing flexibility of our housing, living and employment rights. It is therefore a worrying development that housing corporations in this context all kinds of rent protection rules kick their ass. Of course there are also beneficiaries of the uncertainty of this growing group of precarious people. The company is not for nothing Wolf Housing Group that this flex construction allows one of the van fastest growing companies (page 56) thanks in part to the exorbitant rents paid for these temporary contracts getting paid.

If property owners are not or are no longer allowed to rent out temporarily because the planned demolition or renovation plans are (temporarily) canceled, then sitting tenants should be offered a regular lease. It is up to the municipality to take a critical look at this when granting permits for temporary rental. It is her duty to protect and preserve these inhabitants of the city as well.”



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