On Sunday 9 June, Da Costastraat 137H got squatted in Amsterdam. This apartment has been standing vacant for years. The home belongs to a person who has 22 properties on his name. There is also a limited company in his name, which has a further 99 properties.
The main reason that we did this action was to provide ourselves with living space. We would be happy to rent the property for a reasonable price. Yet there are still a number of points that we want to make.
In the Oud-West district, the up to 14 year waiting time for a social rent home is disproportionate. Oud-West is therefore one of the neighbourhoods where the number of social rent properties has long fallen below the lower limit of 35%. Below this level you don’t have a mixed neighborhood. Unfortunately, this is already the reality in large swathes of the city. The lower limit has already been passed in (most parts of) Centrum, West, Zuid, en Ijburg. In West it is not only about Oud-West but also De Baarsjes. This is an issue we are very concerned about.
A significant example is the wasteland on the Jan Pieter Heijestraat, where 35 social rent units were demolished back in 2009. Instead of new homes coming in their place, it turned out the pla was to build a hotel. Now, 10 years later, this terrain is still not developed.
Recently, the neighbourhood has been hit hard by gentrification. With shitty marketing tricks such as the Hallenkwartier project, the district has been sold for a song and it becomes increasingly unaffordable. The city is becoming a sort of amusement park for tourists and big money, with the residents always coming last. The poorest people are (like normal) the hardest hit. Thye might be permitted to work in the city, but decent housing is too much to ask.
Despite all this, through taking matters into our own hands we now have a temporary solution for housing and we are giving an apartment some life again.
Translated from the Dutch