Amsterdam: 15 december, demonstration against the eviction of Amsterdam!

15 december 2018, 15:00, Daniel Meyerplein, Amsterdam

We are angry about the sale of the city: tourism, Airbnb, gentrification, sale of the social housing stock, segregation of neighborhoods and neighborhoods, the hunt on social centers and non-profit organizations, small businesses get into trouble because of extreme rents.  The city is becoming unaffordable. Young people and students can’t find an affordable place anywhere. Amsterdammers no longer know where their children should live. Teacher shortage because there is no affordable housing for new teachers, nurses, anymore. Tenants’ rights are being eroded. More and more temporary rental contracts, good housing disappearing from the social stock, waiting lists are endless. Properties are bought up to be used as Airbnb hotels. As the city becomes more commercial, free spaces disappear to make way for monoculture. All of Amsterdam has an interest in the preservation of the ADM, as the largest international sanctuary. 150 residents and countless small businesses and initiatives, unique events and festivals that cannot take place anywhere else in Amsterdam have to make way for a nonsensical and unrealistic business plan. But that doesn’t matter because once vacated, the land and port will increase in value enormously and that’s what it’s all about. Precisely to prevent speculation, the city council decided that only a shipyard may be built on the site, but now the city suddenly does not have a hard time. [Read More]

Amsterdam: De Mobiele Eenheid goes to court!

Three weeks ago, the collective De Mobiele Eenheid squatted the building Gedempt Hamerkanaal 86, Spijkerkade 2 in Amsterdam Noord. To counteract the commercialisation, mass-tourism and precarious housing market, we have created a social centre offering a weekly program. Soon after the building’s occupation in opposition to an all-encompassing property-based violence, the end is near. Following dangerous threats, the owner of the building is summoning the collective to court, based on his supposed plan to turn the building into a hotel.

Amsterdam contains a disproportionate number of hotels and is completely over-crowded. The hotel stop decreed by the previous city government, is hardly noticeable. But the owner in question, a diamond merchant and property speculator, knows that real diamonds nowadays have two legs, arrive in Schiphol and pull wheelie bags.

His presented plans are not only problematic, but also highly questionable. In 2006, the building was squatted for the first time and already then, the plan was to build a hotel. Besides an environmental permit in 2013, the owner has undertaken little to no action hinting at reconstruction of the building. Overall, the greatest part of his property has been standing empty for many years. [Read More]

Madrid-Barcelona: Estate agents attacked in solidarity with the CSOA La Gatonera and the CSO Ka La Trava

Thursday September 27, the windows of estate agency Tecnocasa in Vallekas were shattered. The agency was also covered in paint. This action aims to encourage the comrades of the CSOA La Gatonera (Carabanchel-Madrid) and Ka La Trava (Gràcia-Barcelona), as well as all the people who struggle in defence of squats as a revolutionary tool.
Neighbourhoods are being transformed by capitalist speculation, gentrification being a tightening of screws in a cyclical process that affects all the cities of the world. Real estate agencies and other capitalist entities such as banks and speculators are responsible. Let’s spread the attack against them and build bridges based on solidarity and attack.
Refusing to negotiate with the State, the town hall or private property and resisting the scoundrels and the police must have an echo of solidarity in the form of seeking and spreading the struggle. This is only the beginning and we call for the reproduction of the attack, overcoming any path of mediation and negotiation with power. We do not negotiate with the State and capital. [Read More]

From Shanghai to San Fran, the rent is too damn high

Fueled by years of record-low interest rates, a new housing crisis is rearing its head from London to L.A. This time, however, it will not go uncontested.

Capitalism is a strange beast. Though incredibly resilient in the face of systemic crises and remarkably adaptive to ever-changing conditions, it never truly overcomes its structural contradictions. As the Marxist geographer David Harvey often points out, it merely displaces them in space and time.

The global financial crisis of 2008-’09 has been no exception in this regard. In fact, the very response to that calamity has already laid the foundations for the next big crisis. And just like its immediate predecessor, it looks like this one will be centered, at least in part, on a massive speculative housing bubble. [Read More]

Resisting the next wave of real estate speculation in Spain

Stop_BlackstoneA new speculative bubble may be taking shape as global investment firms buy devalued real estate in Spain. Will they beat a new path of dispossession?

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, Spain was flying high. After extensive economic liberalization and adoption of the euro in the late 1990s, all indicators pointed up. Spain boasted the highest use of cement in the European Union, fifth worldwide, as close to a million houses were built in 2006 alone — more than France, Germany and Italy combined. Many were convinced that prosperity was here to stay.

But the boom was built on an asset bubble, where skyrocketing housing prices and unprecedented amounts of credit for developers and homeowners — and thus vast indebtedness — created the perfect storm. While more than six million new homes were built and house prices increased by over 200 percent from 1996 to 2007, in the years since then Spain has seen millions of vacant properties accumulate, housing production at a standstill, price declines of over 65 percent from their peak, and hundreds of thousands of home repossessions. [Read More]

Netherlands: Camelot is using people in need of housing as ‘real estate pawns’ and as ‘out-sourced dwellers’ that only serve to facilitate speculation

Camelot_antisquatted_castle

Accusation of Camelot Europe by Bond Precaire Woonvormen

Camelot Europe is an international vacant property management company, that started in the Netherlands. Their business is vacant property management services to provide real estate clients with a ‘cost effective, high quality and flexible solution’ to protect vacant properties against vandalism and such. Camelot provides these services in the UK, Ireland, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium and is now attending Mipim 2014.

Its ‘services’ to the real estate sector are in fact a way to maximise profit from vacant properties by exploiting people in need of a house. Camelot was one of the first Ductch ‘antisquat’ companies that came up with the idea of having people in need of housing live in empty buildings as ‘property protectors’ on temporary flex-contracts and without any tenants rights. These dwellers can be kicked out of their house on a two weeks notice, are deprived of privacy as Camelot will randomly inspect their premises to see if they ‘behave properly’, and are forced to agree to a set of conditions that constrain their freedom of behaviour and mobility. [Read More]

Amsterdam Metropolitan Area has no place on Mipim

Accusal of Amsterdam Metropolitan Area by speculation research collective SPOK

The Mipim is celebrating its 25th birthday this year. As all previous years, a lot of Dutch companies and local governments will be present, the latter also paying € 1600,- for an entrance fee probably paid for from our taxes. One of the local Dutch authorities present for the Mipim festivities, that really should have stayed at home to work on solving the serious housing shortages in its area, is the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Despite the continuing Dutch policies promoting home-ownership, in Amsterdam alone 270.000 people are searching for an affordable house to rent. They cannot afford or are not interested in buying a house. Nor can they rent on the liberalised (expensive) rental housing market in Amsterdam where prices have become extremely high, as one of the results of the home-ownership promotion policies. [Read More]