Today housing corporation Stadgenoot is celebrating the new youth contract (jongerencontract), an anomaly in the long dutch tradition of social housing. And what a place to celebrate it: in a newly built residential building that gained notoriety for its “poor door”
Stadgenoot has its origin in a tradition of social housing that started at the early 20th century in the Netherlands. More than 100 years later though, the large corporation has developed an twisted view on social housing and is disgustingly proud of it.
Where even mainstream Amsterdam city politics is striving for an undivided city (ongedeelde stad) in trying to assure that the rich and poor can co-exist in all the different parts of Amsterdam, Stadgenoot is taking a pretentious right-wing shift.
How is this possible? A housing corporation by law is required to cater to the lower incomes, ensuring them a place in the lee, from the storm of an intensely commercial real estate market. Stadgenoot, pretentious as always, interprets this moral task as providing housing not to the poor, but obscenely to the “not yet rich”.
The young arriving in the city get a shortcut to an affordable house and have a chance to amass higher income to be able to afford a high priced apartment of their own. The contract lasts 5 years, after which they have to leave. If by then you are not “successful” enough, too bad, you can fuck off.
Here the temporary contract plays a decisive role. Stadgenoot has lobbied for this contract with a small conservative party in national parliament, the Christian Union (Christen Unie) for a change of law. This law has come into effect today, the 1st of july 2016.
Stadgenoot: “fuck the poor, we are helping the not-yet-rich”
The temporary contract is designed for the youth that is not yet able to find affordable housing, or in the words of Pim de Ruiter, spokesperson for Stadgenoot, “not yet able to afford expensive housing”. But wait, what happens to the poor then? Well, Stadgenoot says, they will find themselves “in not the best houses at the margins of the city, or have to leave the city altogether”. (Videolink from 47:12)
And there you have it, Stadgenoot, made the furthest possible ideological step: from care for the poor, to a capitalist catharsis: the poor have to bow their head to enter the city, and after a transformative experience they will be willing soldiers of big business, or be discarded.
The building where the first youth contract has been used this 1st of july is the building aptly named “Costa Rica”, famous for its controversial poor door. The poor enter through their own door and live on the lower floors. The rich enter through their own door and are living on top. Unashamed.
Stadgenoot’s Pim de Ruiter and all his political friends should be chased out of this city they would like to effectively lock up for the normal Amsterdammer with an average income.