The Hague — Single mother Ashadevie and her son Karan have been on the brink of becoming homeless for months. They rent a house in the Regentessekwartier in The Hague from housing corporation Staedion. After the municipality suddenly and without consultation deregistered the main tenant of their home and Staedion asked the main tenant to terminate the lease contract, Staedion now wants to evict Ashadevie and Karan from their house. Residents insisted on a workable solution and a new lease, but Staedion refused to comply.
Action against eviction Asha & Karan
Staedion, Kon. Julianaplein 2, The Hague
Due to the total lack of affordable social rent and discriminatory legislation such as the Rotterdam Act, Ashadevie and Karan are completely stuck and are still forced to stay in the house. Now owner Staedion threatens to kick them out by means of summary proceedings. That's why we come back in action, Ashadevie and Karan are the umpteenth ones who are put on the street by Staedion, we cannot accept that in the middle of winter during a housing and corona crisis — certainly not from a housing corporation.
We therefore demand housing security for Ashadevie and her son and the abolition of the exclusive housing policy. Come to the action at Staedion and the Ministry of the Interior on December 18 at 13.00, to support them and hand over our demands to Staedion and the Minister of Housing!
The mother and son have been threatened with eviction and homelessness for months. From January 21, 2020, Ashadevie came to live on the first floor of their current home on Newtonstraat as a subtenant. With the consent of the main tenant and Staedion, a sublease was offered for an indefinite period. The property had already been made available for some time, in consultation with the main tenant and Staedion, to homeless young people and adults in a precarious living situation. That is how Ashadevie and her son ended up in the building.
Their housing security nevertheless came under pressure when the municipality of The Hague conducted an address investigation in February and decided to deregister the main tenant of Newtonstraat with immediate effect and without consultation. This is because the main tenant could not prove that she was still using the house in Newtonstraat as her main address. Despite the fact that Staedion and the main tenant were already discussing a new form of housing to be realised, Staedion went along with the municipality's decision and urged the main tenant to voluntarily, but urgently, terminate the lease. Due to the expiry of the lease with Staedion, Ashadevie's sublease has also come into question. After some deferment granted by Staedion, Ashadevie was now obliged to leave her home by September 30, 2020, but was simply unable to meet this due to the gigantic housing crisis, with a growing shortage of social rental housing. In the meantime, we are almost 2 months further and Staedion has filed a lawsuit to evict Ashadevie within a week of the verdict. Staedion says it would like to accommodate another family in the house, but does not see that the waiting list for a rental house will not be shorter on balance if another family is made homeless for it.
Exclusion from public housing
Immediately after Ashadevie was told that she and her son would have to leave their home in The Hague, they started looking for alternative accommodation. For example in the municipality of Eindhoven, where Ashadevie has been registered as a house seeker for 10 years, but still does not qualify for social housing. They are also looking in the municipality of The Hague, Rotterdam and various shrinking municipalities, but so far without results. They are also not eligible for uncertain, temporary and anti-squat rental. The municipality of The Hague, co-causing this situation, advises the mother and son to report to the homeless shelter, but because Ashadevie has not lived in The Hague for 2 years, she is not eligible for this either. In short, they are excluded everywhere, they have the whole 'anti-residential BINGO map' complete — where are these people going now?
The law that makes it possible to discriminate against residents on the basis of a low income is also known as the Rotterdam Act. This law should 'improve' the quality of life in certain neighbourhoods. Cody Hochstenbach of the University of Amsterdam investigated the effectiveness of the Rotterdam Act in 2015 on behalf of the municipality of Rotterdam. “The composition of the population is indeed changing, but the quality of life and safety are not improving,” says Hochstenbach. according to news hour Bureau TwynstraGudde and the Bureau of Statistics of the Municipality of Rotterdam came to the same conclusion. Poor people are thus deprived by the government of their freedom of establishment and their basic right to housing. The BPW can no longer watch people being excluded from their fundamental rights in so many ways.
BPW and residents therefore demand from Staedion:
1. Stop Ashadevie & Karan eviction and prevent homelessness.
2. Offer them a formal lease for the part of the home they are already paying rent for.
3. Or: offers dignified rehousing with housing security in The Hague or Rotterdam.
BPW and residents therefore demand from the government and the Minister of Housing (BZK):
1. Stop discriminatory housing policy based on the Rotterdam Act.
2. Provides housing security for everyone.
3. Stop all evictions, especially during the housing and corona crisis.
How can you help Ashadevie & Karan?
- Share this post on social media! Use the hashtag #stopevictionAsha.
- Come to the claim handover on Friday 18 December at 13.00 at the Staedion head office at the Kon. Julianaplein number 2 in The Hague.
- Part the Facebook event with your solidarity friends.
- Do you also have problems with the Rotterdam Act or the threat of homelessness? Sign up to BPW.
Corona measures and preparations tenant action
In accordance with the corona measures, we keep 1,5 meters away. And don't forget to bring your mouth cap! For those who do not have a mouth cap, BPW will provide it on site. In addition to the demands handing over by Ashadevie to Staedion, there are short speeches. By simply coming to the action you are already a great support, but if you have the opportunity to make a banner or protest sign: have fun! Together we provide a powerful sound against failing housing policy.
On 30 November 2020, Nieuwsuur published an item about the controversial Rotterdam Act and interviewed Ashadevie about her situation. Watch the video from Nieuwsuur's Facebook page below: