Precarious housing in the Czech Republic

kuncovka_brno_czech_republicKuncovka, an apartment complex 10 minutes by tram from the centre of Brno, the 2nd city of the Czech Republic with a prosperous centre. A five year old girl is walking her “dog”, a broken DVD-player, on the field at the front door. The power cord serves as the leash. Inside a group of 15 sits in a 18m2 room, the largest room of the apartment. In between the meeting children play with cardboard boxes, no toy in sight. 4 chairs, 2 small tables and a mattress are all the furniture there is. Coffee and tea is made in the bathroom, there is no kitchen.

Julek is our host. He lives in 1 of the 48 apartments in the complex. He tells us the dilapidated apartments of 30m2, without kitchen, are rented out for 10500 crowns (roughly 400 euro) a month. Last winter the owner refused to turn on the heating. He wanted to make an even higher profit. He often extorts the tenants by switching off the electricity. For 750 crowns (30 euro) he puts the electricity back on for a day.

The tenants lack regular rent contracts. There are monthly contracts which are tacitly renewed by the owner, even though these are illegal according to the Czech law. If you criticize the owner, the extortion, or the atrocious state of the building, your contract won’t be renewed. When the owner has a bad mood he refuses to give a payment receipt for the rent, which causes you to lose your housing benefits. [Read More]

Saving Midtown: San Francisco Renters on Strike

This is the story of the Midtown rent strike, the largest rent strike in San Francisco since 1978.
by Global Uprisings http://www.globaluprisings.org/midtown/

Amsterdam: Kolenkit is not for sale!

20160205_BPW_Kolenkit_niet_te_koop_The Kolenkitbuurt’s struggle is part of a broader struggle which is the claim for right to the city for people. Since the Kolenkit’s neighborhood was decided to be turned into transformations with renew urban projects, such as the Koelkit project, we decided to organize the struggle hand in hand with inhabitants.

Indeed, Rochdale has the plan to renovate and sell 4 buildings in which people with 5 different types of temporary contracts are currently living. This Koel Kit project will force these temporary tenants to leave, and replaced by others, given that the 154 housing accomodations are gonna be more expensive, sold and privatised.
Therefore we went to Rochdale on the 4th of January in order to claim our requests:
1. Stop sell out of these rental houses
2. Make temporary homes indefinite homes
3. No evictions without replacement housing [Read More]