Do you want to support Jenny? Then come to the council committee on Wednesday 17 April at 09:00 or contact the BPW or Thuisbasis.
On Friday, April 12, Jenny its demand not to be evicted is made known to Eigen Haard. Supported by neighbours, friends, family and solidarity network Home base(*) we went to Eigen Haard's head office in Amsterdam for a meeting with the chief executive.
Jenny has been living in the Hunzestraat for 15 years, the street where her children were born. The family is loved there and the children go to school. It is also the street where she has been forced to live as a subtenant for two years now. She is desperately looking for another home, but if you don't get a mortgage, don't meet the income requirements for mid-range rent and don't have enough waiting time for social housing, you're at the mercy of yourself. The six months that Eigen Haard considered sufficient to find a new home turned out not to be enough.
Doesn't she get urgent? In order to be entitled to a home in Amsterdam, the family must first slide further. Because she has no addiction, debt or psychological problems, she will first have to go to crisis shelter before she will be eligible for an emergency declaration. Because this is not a solution for Jenny and her children, Jenny has decided to fight to claim her rights. We support her in this.
It is a situation very reminiscent of the case of zaak busra who took action against her eviction in 2017. A case that received a lot of attention from the media and politicians at both local and national level. Little seems to have changed though, families like Jenny's are still being evicted. Housing associations and aldermen point at each other or shamelessly shift the blame onto the family. For example, Jenny would be a 'bad mother' because she arranged a house in the sublet herself. The fact that homelessness was the alternative is conveniently concealed, as is their own political responsibility in the development of the housing crisis. We don't think Jenny is a bad mother, but a fighter, a mother who keeps fighting for her family until the last moment and does everything she can to prevent homelessness.
Arrived at the head office of Eigen Haard were kindly received by the reception and not much later answered by the driver Mieke van den Berg. After receiving her demand, van den Berg stated that he was well aware of the case. She indicated that she understood the problem, sympathized with Jenny and recognized that there are many in this situation, just like Jenny, but that Eigen Haard is not able to solve it. She did indicate that there was a good chance that the eviction could be postponed by a few months so that the children could finish the school year in relative peace. Months would be most welcome although Jenny couldn't say if they would be enough to find a solution. She did indicate that she was grateful for the gesture and that she understood that Eigen Haard could not come up with a solution, so that was not what she had come for. The question to Eigen Haard is not to come up with a solution, the question is to give time, time until there is a definitive solution for Jenny and her children.
After our action, there seemed to be more attention for the situation of Jenny and her children. Eigen Haard showed understanding and seemed to want to think about how they can help the family, but a solution has not yet been found. For this reason, we will continue to organize actions in the coming weeks. To begin with, by speaking to the housing and building council committee on Wednesday 17 April at 9:00 a.m.
(*)Thuisbasis is a solidarity network founded by Amsterdam members of the BPW. A network of residents in Amsterdam who support each other in direct action towards the landlord.