In Rotterdam, a mother with child threatens to be put on the street. After 6 years via Ad Hoc anti-squat with a disguised rental contract Having lived in a Woonstad house on Rusthofstraat, she and her daughter recently received the message that they had to leave at short notice due to demolition. The problem is, the tenants have still built up too little waiting time for social housing and, as students and mothers with a narrow grant, too little income for private rent. In the case of anti-squat, no children are allowed and the housing corporation says it will only resettle “real” tenants. And not people with a B or C lease. An exception was made for her neighbors (also with children), they have rented temporary contracts directly through Woonstad.
Ad-Hoc now threatens with a fine of 500 euros per day if she has not left the house on October 22 and an "emergency eviction" has been requested. At the end of the month, the meters and the central heating system would already be removed from the home.
The BPW is in solidarity with this tenant and her 1-year-old child. “We no longer accept that people are carelessly thrown out on the street after a temporary contract. We demand a social inclusive system. Woonstad must commit itself to the social interest of all its tenants. Also the temporary tenants whom she has condemned to precarity through a shadowy outsourcing construction via Ad Hoc”
Last year Nikkie approached the BPW. She was pregnant and had asked Woonstad if there was a possibility to get priority over social housing. She also proposed to rent her own home directly through Woonstad. The reason for this was the prohibition (by Ad Hoc) to allow minor children to stay in the house/register. In her contract she risks a fine of up to 500 euros per day and eviction. Although the BPW disputes the (legal) tenability of such strangulation clauses, it is shocking that this can be included in such contracts.
Not a tenant but a real estate pawn
Getting priority turned out to be impossible and she was advised to move quickly anyway. Anti-squat living and a child is not possible. Woonstad was suddenly very curious and wanted to know where she lived. Nikkie got suspicious and then gave the address of someone around the corner (coincidentally a girl who clearly wasn't pregnant). Ad Hoc came here the next day to check if she was pregnant.
She was of course very shocked when she heard this, but was also relieved that they were not at her door. She then hid all (baby) stuff and the like in the meter cupboard and hid the key for fear of being evicted.
Social legislation for minimum wages
Social legislation and rent protection are also there for minimum incomes with children. Previously, there were room questions about the outsourcing of the lease by Woonstad to Ad Hoc. In a widely adopted motion the House of Representatives ruled last year that housing corporations should no longer work with the disenfranchised vacancy management via anti-squat agencies. But Woonstad didn't change its policy either, supported by Minister Blok who shines in the denial of tenant poverty.
After this outrageous treatment, it is therefore time for social justice. Give this mother and child a home now! Stop the (financial) intimidation by Ad Hoc and Woonstad. It is time for tenants to show solidarity and jointly demand their rent and housing rights.
Gentrification through temporary rental structures
Only 550,000 rental homes are currently available in the cheapest rental segment. A large part of this will disappear in the coming years: largely due to price increases, partly due to demolition or sale. The large-scale demolition of hundreds of social rental homes in Nieuw Crooswijk is a symbol of rural development: less social housing. Meanwhile, home seekers are forced to live temporarily in the breakdown of our social system.
The political story of met temporary rental more “dynamics” and “flow” creating in our public housing only leads to more alienation, repression, evictions and more precarious forms of living. If you are not a second earner, there will soon be no more room for you in the city.
The resident and her daughter have engaged a lawyer and, together with the BPW, are demanding affordable social housing. Show solidarity and support Nikkie and Sofia in their fight for suitable housing by sharing this message and holding Woonstad to account.
For more information, please Contact contact the tenant and the BPW.
The names of the tenant and her daughter have been changed.