The battle that is being fought in the Kolenkitbuurt is part of a broader battle: who for the right to the city. Because housing corporations and the city council decided that the neighborhood should be transformed into a hip neighborhood for rich people, through projects such as the Koelkit project, we decided to revolt together with the residents.
Housing cooperative Rochdale plans to renovate and sell four buildings, with residents on up to five different types of temporary contracts. This Koelkit project will replace the temporary tenants with new, more wealthy/wealthy residents. No fewer than 154 houses that were originally intended for social housing are being transferred to the private sector.
On That's why we went to the Rochdale office on January 4th to claim our right to the city. Our request to Rochdale is that they:
1. Stops the sale of social rental housing
2. Convert temporary contracts to permanent contracts
3. Offer people alternative accommodation in the event of evictions
None of these requests have been met. No measures have been taken to provide the current residents with new shelter – they will end up on the street. Rochdale has replied that they "cannot solve these people's problems", so more and more residents are joining us. Why are these residents forcibly evicted from their homes and neighborhoods? The Kolenkitbuurt is the place where they live, the space they use, where they meet!
Why would residents leave and be exchanged for other residents? Housing associations are of and for tenants!
Why should residents leave in times of rent flexibility? Housing is a human right. By making more flexible (including through the planned introduction of 1- and 5-year leases via the rental market flow law) from renting more and more people lose their social rights!
Why would residents leave their homes when they are privatized and sold in times of increasing scarcity? Financialisation and precarisation of public housing make housing expensive and temporary. That is not going to solve the housing crisis. It's the housing crisis!
That's why we say today; these houses are NOT FOR SALE. Stop evictions. Living is right! We re-appropriate our public rental properties and place them under direct democratic control by the residents. The share of public social housing in the Netherlands has shrunk drastically from 44% in the 1990s to 30% now. More than 21,000 houses in Amsterdam have been sold since 1998. Political policy is to further reduce this share and to split up and break up housing associations for the benefit of the market. . Voting will take place next Tuesday, February 9. Expensive and insecure housing threatens to become the norm. Today we say: enough is enough. Precarity ends here!
Join the fight against housing insecurity!
We are supported in this battle by Renters' Association Amsterdam, Huurdersbelang Zuid, De Nederlandse Woonbond, Doorbraak, De IWBN and many others. We invite you to join in and show solidarity.
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Coal kit is NOT FOR SALE!
The Kolenkitbuurt's struggle is part of a broader struggle which is the claim for right to the city for people.
Since the Kolenkit's neighborhood was decided to be turned into transformations with renew urban projects, such as the Koelkit project, we decided to organize the struggle hand in hand with inhabitants.
Indeed, Rochdale has the plan to renovate and sell 4 buildings in which people with 5 different types of temporary contracts are currently living. This Koel Kit project will force these temporary tenants to leave, and replaced by others, given that the 154 housing accommodations are going to be more expensive, sold and privatised.
Therefore we went to Rochdale on the 4th of January in order to claim our requests:
1. Stop selling out of these rental houses
2. Make temporary homes indefinite homes
3. No evictions without replacement housing
Since no measures and decisions have been taken to relocate the precarious inhabitants yet and that Rochdale replied that they «couldn't solve these people's housing problems», more and more inhabitants joined the movement, determined to stay.
Why shall they leave, while this is their living space? Indeed the koolkitbuurt is the place they live, the space they use, where they meet, create.
Why shall they leave and replace by other people? As housing corporations are the legal structure which decide, they are also responsible in housing people.
Why shall they leave in times of increasing flexibilisation of renting? Housing is a human right. flexibilization doesn't acknowledge that. More and more tenants are excluded from social rights and become flexnomads with 1-5 year and other precarious flex-contracts.
Why shall they leave while their homes are being privatized and sold in times of increasing scarcity? As financialisation and precarisation of the public good will not solve this housing crisis.
That's why we decided to continue the struggle in trying to call out public's opinion, and policy makers attention about this privatization process which basically force the poor to go outside of the cities and attract the rich in. Lately, some tenants' unions, and local parties supported our struggle, such as the Huurdersvereniging Amsterdam, Huurdersbelang Zuid, De Woonbond, Doorbraak, the IWBN and many more.
Thereby, inhabitants are the moral partie we are supporting, because cities are for people, not for profit! Today it's time to react and to reclaim our houses and save them from privatization processes.
Therefore we say these houses are not for sale. Stop evictions, housing is a right. We re-appropriate this buildings from an ever increasing marketization of the public good and bring it under direct public control. We invite you to join the struggle. The amount of public social rental housing shrank drastically form 44% in the 90's to 30% in the Netherlands. Since 1998 more than 21,000 houses in Amsterdam have been sold. Policy is to further reduce this amount. The proposed “law mobility rental market” forsees the introdcution of 1 and 5 year contract. It will make expensive and precarious housing the new norm. Today we say: it's enough. Precarity ends here. We invite you to join the struggle! And share the solidarity.
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