amsterdamse huurdersorganisatiesNews item

All alarm bells have gone off now that a fundamental system change in tenancy law is proposed at the initiative of the housing associations, which affects the legal certainty of tenants. Amsterdam tenant organizations feel overwhelmed by the Manifest Suitable Living that the housing associations handed over to Minister Ollongren at the beginning of June.

The Appropriate Living Manifesto asks the minister to lay down a legal basis for opening up existing leases of tenants who live 'too cheap' or 'too big' according to the standards of corporations, the so-called 'skewed living'. With this approach, the corporations claim to make it possible to move through the social housing market.

The tenants' organizations Arcade, Bewonersraad Rochdale, DuWoners, HBO Argus, HuurdersBelangenVereniging de Alliantie Amsterdam, Tenants' Association De Waakvuur, Huurders Ymere Amsterdam and Huurgenoot are shocked because tenants will be forced to pay more rent or to live smaller. It forces tenants to move to a cheaper and/or smaller home, because of huge rent increases or because the family composition has become smaller. “The fact that people will be forced to move instead of being tempted makes tenants very restless. Why don't corporations come up with smart flexible housing concepts and schemes that make it more attractive to move voluntarily?”, says Vera van Lieshout of the Rochdale Residents' Council.

There is no longer any question of voluntary termination, let alone any freedom of choice. Tenants are being evicted from their homes and that is also the intention of the proposal. And a more far-reaching flexibility of the lease is in the offing. “This is not the solution; this must be sought in more building so that the stock of housing is up to standard. If it comes to generating more income for housing associations for new construction, then abolish the landlord levy," said Peter Weppner of Huurders Ymere Amsterdam.

The proposals of the corporations disproportionately gnaw at the housing security of tenants in the social sector. This will work like a stone in the pond and the consequences for quality of life and social cohesion will be immense, especially in the Randstad areas. This infringement of the tenants' rights does not suit both the government and the housing associations and is considered unacceptable by the signatories of the Pamphlet Infringement of Tenancy Law. Tenant organizations would like to discuss a future vision for housing with the housing associations as equal partners, but not about the manifesto: that has to be taken off the table. The tide must be turned! 

Read it here Pamphlet Infringement of Tenancy Law that was drawn up by the 8 Amsterdam Tenants' Organizations.