Protests demanding affordable housing continue in the Netherlands

Major cities in the Netherlands have been facing an acute housing crisis marked by higher rents, skyrocketing property prices, evictions, and homelessness.

February 01, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
The #Woonrevolte protest in Amersfoort. Photo: via Woonrevolte Amersfoort

Progressive sections in the city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands organized a demonstration demanding affordable housing on Sunday, January 30. On the call of the housing rights coalition #Woonrevolte Amersfoort, activists from various youth/student groups, feminist groups, trade unions and political parties marched in the city. The Communist Youth Movement (CJB), FNV Vakbond, BIJ1 and the Socialist Party (SP) participated in the march to demand local and national authorities to immediately formulate policies to resolve the aggravating housing crisis in cities across the country.

Major cities in the Netherlands have been facing an acute housing crisis marked by higher rents, skyrocketing property prices, evictions, and homelessness. Various progressive groups in these cities have formed coalitions like #Woonrevolte to fight for housing rights and affordable and dignified living. Among them are #Woonstrijd in Groningen, #Woonprotest in Amsterdam, #Woonopstand in Rotterdam and #Woonverzet in Hague. They have organized major mobilizations through the last year demanding housing rights. The coalitions have also joined forces and released a Housing Manifesto with various demands to solve the housing crisis, such as reinstating the ministry of housing which deals exclusively with policies aimed at realizing the right to housing, combating homelessness as a top priority, ensuring broadly accessible, affordable and secure public housing, expropriation of vacant and unused spaces, and curbing the financialization of housing.

Read: Protests demanding affordable housing surge in the Netherlands

The #Woonrevolte Amersfoort coalition stated that “there is a housing crisis in the Netherlands, also in Amersfoort! As a result of political choices, rents are unaffordable and houses are being bought up by investors who are chasing house prices to line their own pockets with profits. Housing is a right, not a revenue model!”

“It’s time to get up! There have already been housing protests in many cities: In Amsterdam, Arnhem, Hague, Groningen, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Tilburg and Utrecht. But it must not stop there, and that is why we are now also taking to the streets in Amersfoort to claim our right to live!,” the coalition added.

The campaign group De Woonactie has called for action for housing rights in the city of Delft on February 6. Actions were also announced in Leiden by Woonrevolutie on February 13, in Haarlem by Woonoproer on February 27, in Eindhoven by Woonoffensief Eindhoven on March 3, and in Emmen by Woonactie Emmen.

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