Amsterdam: Oops we did again! Amstel 45 squatted.

Sunday, 22-09-19 we successfully squatted the building at Amstel 45. The owner of this building is the biggest real-estate owner of Amsterdam and an speculator. There have been buildings owned by Veldhuijzen squatted before, Amstelkade 20 (2016), Admiraal de Ruijterweg 76 (2008). Johannes Cornelis Martinus Veldhuijzen is the owner of 512 properties in Amsterdam, he has more buildings on his name than Prince Bernhard van Oranje Nassau! (see for details the Parool article mentioned below). We know the building has been empty for 2 years and currently there is a building stop, which means the owner is prohibited to work on the building any further and he also doesn’t have any plans for the building at this moment.
We are against vacancy, leaving buildings empty and left to rot, and we squat because of vacancy! During the first week of occupation, we didn’t have any contact with the owner. Wednesday the 26 of September, we received the court papers for a fast civil procedure. His story had a lot of inconsistency and no concrete plans and because of this and the new squatting law that is coming, we decided it’s a good time to fight back! We went to court on the 1st of October and now we are waiting for the verdict, the 15th of October. The owner himself did not show up in court and he still has shown no willingness to communicate with us in any way. Will keep you guys updated!
[Read More]

Amsterdam: New move from the municipality on the squatted bowling in Noord

Urban resort planning to evict a squat. The squatting community needs your help!

Urban Resort is currently making plans to evict a squat in the North of Amsterdam, called ‘the Krakers Bowlwerk’ (squatted in March 2016). The municipality who owns the building asked them to put a broedplaats (breeding grounds) in place, and Urban Resort gladly said yes to this business opportunity.

They are on a mission to clear the area and make it ready for richer tenants, a process called gentrification. Here’s the catch though: Urban Resort had a lot of ties to the squatting scene, so we will be able to stop them. They were founded by our comrades after all at the time of the squatting ban in 2005. With the aim to safeguard sub-cultural niches, that we as a community created. Niches that they are now helping to break down. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Squatting goes on!

Since the 1960s, squatting has been going on in the Netherlands. Since then, the housing shortage has only increased. And so it is still being squatted. You could call it a contrary tradition. Today, too, but today we make ourselves extra visible.
Why?
In opposition to the recently tabled amendment proposal for the Squatting and Vacancy Act.
Although the above mentioned law already came into force in 2010 and squatting became illegal, some politicians want to make the illegal use of housing even more illegal. The proposal is to make emergency evictions, including emergency lawsuits, the norm within a time frame of 3 days.
This seems superfluous, because at the moment, too, homeowners have sufficient resources at their disposal to be able to evacuate squatters. [Read More]

Netherlands: National day of action against the ban on squatting


Ban the squatting ban!

Since the 1960s, squatting has functioned as a mean of action to stress out a failing housing and vacancy policy: the reason why for decades a squatting ban was regarded as undesirable without any associated effective measures to prevent vacancy. Although squatting has been banned by law since 2010, vacancy and housing shortage have doubled in the past 10 years. And so people are still squatting. The VVD and the CDA do not see vacancies and housing shortages as a problem, but squatting is. At the moment, these parties are working hard for a change in the law to ensure that squatters can be evicted more quickly, without tackling the underlying problems. Because this law will put the legal position of squatters and precarious residents under severe pressure and will only further increase the historically high vacancy rates and homelessness, actions are taking place in various parts of the country today.

One-sided effectuation Squatting and Vacancy Act

Almost 10 years ago, the Squatting and Vacancy Act was passed, on the condition that not only squatting, but also vacancy had to be reduced. Whereas squatting has always been (and still is!) an important stick behind the door of pawnbrokers, from now on municipalities should play a more active role in tackling speculation on vacant property and impoverishment. Fines for structural vacancy, however, have hardly been imposed and thanks to the gigantic boost of vacancy management/property guardianship, it has only become easier for speculators to conceal vacancy under the guise of ‘occupancy through temporary renting’. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Pretoriusstraat 89hs resquatted

Today 8 september 2019, Pretoriusstraat 89 ground floor has been resquatted. Owner is the family van Zijl from Wilnis, known as infamous real estate speculators in Amsterdam. Until 2013, the building has been used by several butcheries. After, it stood empty for a few years until it was squatted in February 2016. The squatters had to leave in 2018, because the owner wanted to renovate the neglected building and convert its function to living. Since then, not much has happened, the floor is empty and stripped, draughts and rain further damage the property.

The van Zijl family is known for its speculative real estate business, which is conducted through vacancy and neglect. Harry van Zijl, has been called the “Amsterdam King of the Slums”. His son, who takes over the company with a portfolio of more than 80 properties in Amsterdam, employs the same strategy. The more neglected a building, the easier it is to obtain different permits, for example converting its function. The longer it takes, the more it pays off. The housing shortage is not a social problem, but an opportunity for enrichment. That is why many of their houses have been squatted and re-squatted over the years. [Read More]

Amsterdam: “Free” Space and Squatting. No More Caged Chickens

Free Space Now. The slogan of ADEV in 2018 – an annual street rave organised by squatters and artists in the city of Amsterdam. The slogan refers to a lobbying initiative called the Free Spaces Accord (vrijplaatsenakkord). Inspired by the looming eviction of the ADM and by the new ruling coalition of the municipality’s rhetoric in support of counter-culture, the stated aim of the Accord is twofold: the legitimisation of existing Free Spaces (vrijplaatsen) and the stimulation of new Free Spaces.

The initiative emerges from an influential part of the Amsterdam squatting movement. This loosely defined faction, which includes the ADEV organisation, the Free Spaces Accord, parts of the ADM community, and many legalised squats, believes in integration with the city, rather than attempting to oppose the authoritarian power structures and the social degradation they are responsible for.

This faction campaigns for “the fringes”, hoping to secure a few buildings where a small minority (elite groups?) of artists and “free thinkers” can escape the rat race and be “free”. Only then, the argument continues, can such people make a contribution to the city and – according to one end of the faction’s political spectrum – to capitalism and wealth creation. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Place squatted in Noord

Last Sunday, 30th of june, squatters occupied a vacant building in Amsterdam Noord.

First a pharmacy, then a pizzeria, and for a short while a bike storage, the building on the Statenjachtstraat 598 has been empty now since around 2015
In the end of 2015 it was already squatted, the owner at the time seemed a bit dodgy, the squatters were being harassed by workers.

In may 2019 the building has been bought by 2 real estate traders that have not been sitting still the last years, Axel Veldboom[1] en Frans Blom. Mainly active in Groningen and Enschede, together they own more then 300 buildings.
Axel started his real estate career in 2015, and managed to acquire 130 buildings in de the past 4 years. He is known from a scandal in Enschede, where he managed in a sneaky way to get permits to build a student flat in the middle of a neighbourhood. [2] Thanks to some neighbors that stood up for themselves, recently a judge decided that the flat needs to be torn down.
About Frans we don’t know too much, except that he owns 144 buildings in the Netherlands.
[Read More]

Amsterdam: SADC demands eviction Lutkemeerpolder

This thursday june 20th, there will be summary proceedings on the Lutkemeerpolder (at 9.30 am, Parnassusweg, Amsterdam). On that day, the project developer, (employed by the municipality (*), who wants to turn the expensive Lutkemeerpolder into a grey business park), filed a lawsuit. It is demanded that the Gardens of Lutkemeer be evicted and that no one be allowed to enter the site for two years.
This is the next step towards starting the construction activities. When those building activities begin – by driving trucks with construction sand out of the polder, it will become permanently unusable for (organic) agriculture. So even if they then decide not to cultivate the polder, irreversible damage will have occurred. Moreover, there is a motion from the city council that they may only start preparing the land if there are also demonstrable customers for the piece of land in question. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Apartment squatted on the Da Costastraat 137!

On sunday 9 june, the apartment on the Da Costastraat 137H was squatted. This apartment was empty for many years and is owned by a person who has 22 properties in his own name. There is also a company that is registered on his name which has another 99 properties.
The main reason that we have taken this action is to provide ourselves with housing. We would rather rent the house for a reasonable price. Nevertheless, there are still a number of points that we would like to raise.
In Oud-West (Old West), the waiting time for a social housing is up to 14 years. Oud-West is therefore one of the districts where the number of social housing has since long dropped down under 35%, the boundary where there is a mixed district. Unfortunately, this is already a reality in large parts of the city. For example, this lower limit has already been passed in large parts of the Centre, West, South, and Ijburg. In West, in addition to Oud-West, the Baarsjes are also important. This is something we are worried about.
A poignant example is the wasteland on the Jan Pieter Heijestraat, where the 35 social housing units were demolished in 2009. Instead of new houses coming back to replace the demolished ones, it turned out to be for the construction of a hotel. Now, 10 years later, this plot is still vacant. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Wijde Heisteeg 7

More than two years after the eviction of Wijde Heisteeg 7 in Amsterdam centre, two people are still fighting against a prison sentence for squatting a house that it is still empty today.
The eviction was on 23 December 2016 some hours after the civil court case was lost. At the eviction 4 people were arrested and they were charged for squatting. In November 2017 two of the people arrested got a fine of 500€ and were requested to give their DNA samples. For the other two people the court has ordered prison sentences, one of four and one of six weeks and DNA samples from each.
The son of the owner filed a claim for € 106.110,60 in damages and compensation for lost rent and VAT. the court declared this request inadmissible.
The people who risk prison sentences have appealed and there is no date for the hearing yet. But we know that the son of the owner upholds his request for compensation in the appeal procedure for a house that is still empty today, except for the ground floor, which since the eviction has been rented out to a small clothing antikraak pop up store.

Background info about Wijde Heisteeg 7

The monumental house was squatted a first time 4 years long from February 2007 till March 2011. According the squatters, in 2007 the house was in bad condition, the roof leaking on several spots, some windows broken and the rooms humid and dirty. They worked on the house to make it inhabitable. Wijde Heisteeg 7 was evicted a first time on 22nd March 2011. It was the first eviction wave in Amsterdam after the squatting ban from 1st October 2010. [Read More]

Amsterdam: Het Kløkhuis wins court case

It was yesterday April 1st but it’s not a joke! We, the Kinderen van Møkum (Children of Møkum), were told yesterday that we won the lawsuit against the State. On February 22nd, the Klokhuis, building squatted by the Kinderen van Møkum on sunday september 30th 2018, received a letter of eviction from the public prosecutor. This despite the fact that the building has been empty since the beginning of this century, has been squatted several times and the owner would continue speculating if we were to leave. To fight this, we filed a lawsuit against the State and went to court with more than thirty young people. Here we have argued for a complete ban on eviction and this has been granted to us! Hooray! The Kløkhuis Amsterdam may stay! Big thanks to everyone who supported us!

Kinderen van Møkum, Het Kløkhuis
Zeeburgerpad 22, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
https://squ.at/r/6ixz [Read More]

Amsterdam: Mobiele Eenheid Evicted from Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86

On Friday first of February, the Mobiele Eenheid left Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86 and the adjoining Spijkerkade 2 following an eviction ruling from civil court proceedings. Six people have been made homeless and Amsterdam has lost yet another non-commercial social space.

The original eviction verdict was made on the basis of the property owner’s supposed plan to begin renovation works on the building for the purposes of building a hotel.

Though the owner has a permit from 2013 – prior to the city’s policy not to build more hotels – he has taken no further steps since this time, nor did he present any concrete plans or contracts in court demonstrating this intent. The contention of Mobiele Eenheid was that the owner has been speculating on the property for the more than 12 years in which it has largely been empty, since it was last squatted in 2006.

Mobiele Eenheid argued that the owner’s true intention was to await the municipality’s forthcoming development plan for the Hamerkwartier in 2020, whereupon it is anticipated that much of the area will be redeveloped for housing. At this point, the owner will attempt to sell his property at the higher land value commanded for a hotel, having played the system for his own benefit at a cost to the city. [Read More]