In the Netherlands there are more and more groups that outside the social system of the tenancy protection. Last week, Minister Blok, who in addition to his objective of minimizing the remaining available public housing, also launched a proposal to take away rent protection from all kinds of "special groups". Blok is developing a bill that pits tenants against each other and divides them into all kinds of residential “consumers”. These "flex" tenants would always want to have a different residential "product" (read: want to move). Under the denominator of 'giving opportunities', more and more groups of home seekers of all sorts are being chased from temporary house to temporary house. Bottom line, this permanent home-seeking population has no rent protection and they go through life as disenfranchised flex nomads, often also in the field of work. What does all that mean? And what actually happens if your tenants take away their rental rights?
Take Stef, for example, who recently lived through Camelot Beheer in a building of parteon in the Bloemstraat in Zaandam. His contract has been terminated, he has to pack his bags without rights and it turns out: “when we left our house, we had to remove floorboards, now it appears that there is asbestos in the house, we also suffered from black mold, and we have costs made to try to remove this.” “what is our right if we still have it as an anti-squat, I am now on the street by the way”
The resident is now forced to stay with a girlfriend, his household effects are in storage, his life is in a suitcase. After barely a month, he learns that this temporary lodging adventure is also coming to an end. His girlfriend can get a house through the same landlord, but was not allowed to view it in advance, she had no other options. When the building is opened, there is mold on the walls. The precarious housing situation reproduces itself and starts all over again.
Another resident says: “Camelot treats its 'customers' like dirt, and I'm tired of working on this. Unfortunately I don't know what my rights are here. The threat that the deposit will be withheld also means that I cannot do much. It is a kind of blackmail what they are doing.”
In addition to the forced labor that residents, on pain of losing their deposit, experienced to remove floor parts that were in contact with asbestos, they also did not receive an independent asbestos report. Parteon and Camelot refuse to provide this after several requests. Last week the Noord Hollands Dagblad reported extensively about this. (see below the article)
For example, the BPW receives daily signals of what it means if people do not have rent protection. Social dumping, poverty, exploitation, exclusion and misery!
But oh well, the asbestos turmoil will blow over, the flex tenants are again tucked away in another temporary project or are on the street. The Profits and the redevelopment has been secured and the tenants face a new challenge as fresh as ever. But how long will this peace last now that more and more people are being oppressed?
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The BPW therefore has a question for anyone who likes to look to the future: Do all the people who are so full of temporary contracts also have a solution for all those people who end up on the street after a temporary contract? That question is now often answered with a silence, a shrug of the shoulders and a meager appeal to people's 'personal responsibility'. Total silence reigns when we talk about social rights for temporary residents. But not for long! We know that rationalizing certain and “special” groups from society can lead to social unrest. We therefore demand a socially inclusive system for all tenants, including temporary tenants. Good housing, rehousing and relocation allowance are not privileges only for “old” tenants, but rights for all of us!
To be continued.
The names of the residents have been changed. Take for more info Contact up with the BPW.
Read here the response of the BPW on the starter contract of the Christenunie, among others. For more information, read the article from the Noord Hollands Dagblad.