The year is almost over and we therefore cordially invite you to end the year festively with us during a Christmas drinks on Saturday, December 16. During the drinks there will be time to reflect on the past year together, while enjoying a snack, drink and music, and to forge new (action) plans for 2024. The BPW has once again achieved many successes in 2023, which is reason enough to to celebrate this together.
The biannual meeting of the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City took place in Paris from 9 to 12 November 2023. The Precarious Housing Association (BPW) has been part of this broad action coalition of 38 housing action groups from all over Europe since the start of the coalition 10 years ago. Three members of the BPW therefore traveled to Paris to participate in the four-day program during which the functioning of the coalition was discussed, organizing actions, the European Housing Action Week and strengthening mutual European solidarity. In addition, publicly accessible workshops and discussions were organized around the European housing struggle and related themes.
Today Woonopstand is taking action at the luxury new construction project Bay House in Rotterdam. In the early morning, a banner was attached to the building with the text 'Recapture the neighborhoods, expropriate the rich'. Woonopstand thus makes visible the profiteers of the housing crisis: the project developers, investors and large landowners who see housing as a revenue model. Residential revolt demands that only affordable and social construction be built, an end to the gentrification of our neighborhoods, and all private landowners and slumlords are expropriated so that cities, neighborhoods and homes are returned to the hands of the people who live there.
Every year on October 10, worldwide attention is drawn to the fight against homelessness with World Homeless Day. The Precarious Housing Association (BPW) has also been committed to combating homelessness for years through direct action, preventing evictions and claiming housing rights for precarious residents. The government has the ambition to completely eradicate homelessness by 2030,
but in practice we see virtually no concrete action or policy change associated with this and the number of homeless people is still steadily increasing. In this article we provide an update on some developments and actions surrounding homelessness in which BPW is involved and we call on people to participate in the march against homelessness in The Hague on October 10.
On July 7, the municipality of The Hague launched the new “policy framework for tackling homelessness”, under the buzzing title “The Hague gives home”. The plan is full of beautiful words about social security, tailor-made solutions that transcend legislation and regulations and prevention of homelessness as the most important pillar. Less than two months later, one of the first practical examples presented itself, which immediately made it possible to test whether the policy on paper is more than a pipe dream or a shame. Flex tenant Jelena was already in danger of becoming homeless at the end of August and a month later the threat is still there.
On August 25 we gathered in front of the city hall of The Hague for Jelena. She becomes homeless because the municipality wrongly stopped her benefits, meaning she could no longer pay the rent. BPW The Hague took action and organized a well-attended solidarity action where we wanted to make our demands for housing and social security clear to Alderman Vavier and Alderman Balster. A lot has happened in the meantime. We will update you on Jelena's situation, whether our demands have already been met and what else we have done to put pressure on the councilors involved.
On Saturday 9 September, the Bond Precaire Woonvorms (BPW) is organizing a General Members' Meeting in Groningen from 13:00 to 15:00. In addition to the ALV in June, we elect a new treasurer and chairman at this meeting, we assess the annual accounts and members and various working groups can exchange ideas. After the meeting there is room to talk while enjoying a drink and snacks.
For eleven years, Jelena has been wandering from a sublet room, to anti-squat houses and back to her old sublet address. In between, she tries to build a good life, despite high medical costs and long-term treatment with a psychologist (PsyQ) for PTSD. But: that good permanent living space, it just won't come.