Vliertstraat residents from Den Bosch claim housing security. Mayor Mikkers recently withdrew the eviction. After 4 months of housing struggle, the eviction of 6 residents of the Bossche Vliertstraat because of 4 outdoor weed plants has been canceled.
Initially, Mayor Mikkers had decided on March 12 that the building would be closed on March 23. Within a few days, residents together with BPW Den Bosch action taken against this inhumane situation. For example, they have made their demands known to the municipality, spoken to the municipal council and questions have been asked.
In addition, residents supported by BPW and sympathizers handed over their 3 demands to Mayor Mikkers at the town hall. Additional measures against the eviction have been announced by their lawyer. The neighborhood and city felt involved in the residents' cause and offered them support.
1. Stop the evictions on the Vliertstraat
2. Provide housing security for all residents
3. Stop Abuse of the Damocles Law
There was to be a hearing on the case on June 9. A week in advance, the resident concerned received the proposal that the planned closure of the building would be converted into a warning for him. For the 5 other residents, it was proposed to withdraw the case. This is because the weed found was not found in their lockable living space.
Resident Dave: “I have been stressed by this process for months. Sleepless nights, had to sell my keyboard and borrow money to pay the court costs. Why did the mayor not issue a warning to the resident concerned earlier? I really experienced this process of months of uncertainty as a punishment. I feel treated like a criminal. This cost a lot of energy, money and time. In the end they concluded that there were separate living units and that we had nothing to do with them. You can expect from an owner, the municipality itself, that something of care is exercised”.
In March, the mayor suggested advice from the Bossche Groenen yet: "If it had been disproportionate, I would not have made this decision“. Now he's running again.
Learning lessons for the future
BPW Den Bosch is pleased that this eviction has been prevented, but wants this abuse of power with disruptive consequences to be ruled out in the future. We call on politicians:Legalize weed. Stop evictions and abuse of the Damocles Act”.
The abuse of power on Bossche Vliertstraat fits seamlessly into a national picture of mayors who increasingly abuse their powers. Ombudsmen from Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam recently warned against the abuse of the Damocles Act. The law leads to a lot of suffering and evictions and is at odds with the right to housing. “Citizens are left out in the cold due to tough anti-drug policy by mayors” turned out research by RTL Nieuws. She stated “Too often innocent civilians and often children are the victims of this policy”. The Damocles Act causes more than 1,000 evictions a year.