Jean-Pierre has been working in health care for about 29 years as an ambulance worker and community care worker, among other things, but he has also lived in a forced and insecure situation for many years in the form of anti-squat and temporary rental. On October 1, he threatens to be evicted because anti-squat agency VPS and housing corporation Staedion have canceled his temporary lease, without offering replacement accommodation. The Bond Precaire Woonvorm assists JP in his fight for housing security and is therefore organizing on September 29, at 13.00 a requirements handover at the headquarters of homeowner Staedion. Support JP and join us!
Staedion, Kon. Julianaplein 2, The Hague
From eviction to eviction
Due to personal circumstances and financial setbacks, Jean-Pierre could no longer afford the rent of his expensive private sector home and was evicted from his house at the beginning of 2019. He was voluntarily placed under administration and after being homeless for a week he had no choice but to move to an anti-squat house in the Notenbuurt in The Hague through a priority arrangement for healthcare workers. After several anti-squat and flex contracts, a year and a half later, his temporary lease is still canceled and Jean-Pierre, father of 3 children and dog Estela, finds himself again in a situation of imminent homelessness. His house is one of the first in the street to start with renovation plans. As a temporary tenant, he is not entitled to rent protection or replacement accommodation; the waiting lists for social housing are too long and renting in the private sector is not possible under administration. Where anti-squat was his only option for shelter eighteen months ago, that is now the last push towards homelessness.
The Bond Precaire Woonvorm does not accept that vulnerable tenants such as JP have to rent for years without security or decent rights and can ultimately only postpone their impending homelessness by means of temporary rental. In addition to JP, we see a growing group of flex tenants who are in trouble due to a housing shortage of more than 300,000 houses, growing flexibility in rental contracts and exploding house prices. It is beginning to dawn on more and more people that anti-squat and temporary leases as one of the causes of a system of imminent homelessness cannot be part of the solution to the housing crisis. As vacancy rates continued to rise and the anti-squat industry made billions in profits, the number of homeless people has doubled over the past 10 years to more than 40,000. Social housing corporations such as Staedion should put the housing rights of all its residents first, especially at this time, instead of putting people on the street as disenfranchised persons without a view of other living space.
We therefore demand immediately from Staedion and VPS
1. Stop Jean-Pierre's eviction and prevent homelessness
2. Provides dignified rehousing and housing security
In March this year, at the height of the corona crisis, the government came up with intention agreements with a large proportion of landlords, but not with good legislation to prevent evictions during a pandemic. The branch organization Aedes, of which Staedion is a member, signed these buttery intent agreements and would in principle not commit evictions during the corona crisis. In addition, the VLBN, the trade association of anti-squat agencies, of which VPS is a member, had stipulated that the anti-squat eviction industry could continue to operate during the pandemic.
In addition, an emergency law was introduced, which made possible the short-term extension of 1 type of temporary rental contract, based on the Rental Market Flow Act (check here's the critique of BPW on this law and the petition calling for an end to evictions). This temporary law, which expired on August 31, did not apply to, for example, anti-squat or temporary rental based on the vacancy law, leaving many people in housing insecurity.
Various groups of (temporary) tenants were 'just' evicted before and during this period. Even now that the corona crisis seems to be on its way to a second peak here, this is continuing. In practice, we often see that the promised 'customization' is only possible under great pressure (see eviction campaigns Ehsan, Moerwijk and Nick & Stefany) something ends up and that tenants, including healthcare workers such as JP, can also end up on the street during a pandemic. The BPW advocates decent legislation that protects every type of resident or tenant, without exception.
As a district nurse, it is important for Jean-Pierre to be able to continue living close to his patients in the city. However, ever-rising rents, his long-term precarious living situation and imminent homelessness make it difficult for him to continue to do his job well. As a care worker, however, JP was given priority over an anti-squat home via VPS. Isn't it too sad for words that in this time of 'broad social support and appreciation for healthcare' people like JP, and all other precarious people, are still being forced to rent demolition or renovation buildings in order to continue to do their work? The corona crisis painfully exposes the consequences of years of neo-liberal government policy, with an unsustainable public housing problem and an overloaded health care system.
How can you help JP?
- Share this message. Use the hashtag #stop deportationJP.
- Come to the claim handover on Tuesday 29 September at 13.00 at the Staedion head office at the Kon. Julianaplein number 2 in The Hague and part the Facebook event.
- Do you also rent from Staedion or VPS and do you have to leave your home soon? Join JP's fight and share your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.