- national housing movement -

The Hague squatters' movement squats in the Spui building against vacancy and for a sanctuary in the Hofstad

On Sunday, April 7, the Hague squatters' movement announced the squatting of a döner shop with upstairs apartments on the Spui, which had been vacant for years. The building that ex-CDA board member Atom Zhou purchased at the end of last year has been rotting for years. This while tens of thousands of buildings are empty, hundreds of thousands are looking for a home, homeless shelters are overflowing and people are dying as a direct result of living on the street. Our housing rights continue to lose out to the property rights of a small group of investors, slum landlords and speculators who benefit from scarcity, housing insecurity and vacancy. With this action we call on the city council to take far-reaching crisis measures to guarantee housing rights, through expropriation, introduction of a vacancy ordinance and lifting the squatting ban.

Vacancy is running out of control!

The Hague is becoming less and less a city and more and more a collection of stones without content. Space for autonomous socio-cultural initiatives (without subsidies and regulatory pressure), counterculture, music and art without profit is increasingly restricted. Every city needs a sanctuary, especially The Hague, which has lost its luster without sanctuary. In addition, the ongoing housing crisis continues to claim victims and more and more people are being left out and are being crushed by the system. Especially now it is important to create space for counterculture and to have a community to fall back on, otherwise people will sink further into poverty, depression and social isolation. By squatting we claim our place in the city and create space for counterculture and supportive living-working communities. As long as we have no other option, squatting will continue! No culture without subculture!

The Hague has 180,000 house seekers, 4,000 homeless people who use shelter every year and thousands of homeless people who do not use or are not entitled to homeless shelter. The homelessness problem is no longer invisible. Our parks are slowly turning into tent camps. The contrast with the 20,000 vacant buildings in our city, more than half of which have been vacant for more than a year, is criminal. While investors, slum landlords and speculators profit from vacancies, people are dying on the streets. These are degrading circumstances that require crisis measures. We therefore stand in solidarity with the Fundit campaign of the Street Consulate and call for the expropriation of vacant buildings to convert them into social housing, the introduction of a vacancy ordinance to fine vacancies and the lifting of the squatting ban, so that the right to live is once again given priority over the right of ownership. 

Make room for free space! 

It has been more than a year since the Assembly - and therefore the last active sanctuary in The Hague - was evacuated. Although the Hague College has promised in its coalition agreement to make way for a new sanctuary, the search for an alternative location for the Samenscholen is going wrong and the redevelopment of the old building is drowning on Beatrijsstraat in big trouble. Our autonomous free spaces are evacuated time and time again. Everything of value that has been built up after years of selfless efforts has been demolished. The fact that autonomous initiatives and free spaces manage to bring life to the most neglected corners of the city is structurally abused as part of the gentrification process — only to discover that it proves impossible for aldermen and municipalities to create affordable and accessible creative spaces. create within the neoliberal system. You don't create free space and creativity with subsidies, municipal policy or European money: you demand it! Instead of clearing free areas, the municipality should focus on preserving them. Stop the demolition of unaffordable free space and offer residents and users security and control!

 The squatters' movement in The Hague demands:

  • Permanent space for a sanctuary in The Hague! Space for socio-cultural initiatives to develop without pressure from the market. 
  • Deal effectively with real estate crooks and speculators. Not just fines via a vacancy ordinance, but expropriate long-term vacant real estate and transform it into social rental.
  • Lift the squatting ban. As long as people sleep on the street while buildings are empty, squatting is a necessity!

Housing Action Days

This squatting action arose in the context of the Housing Action Days 2024, an initiative of the European Action Coalition for the right to housing and the city. During the Housing Action Days, hundreds of actions are announced throughout Europe for a week by various grassroots organizations fighting for the right to housing. With a new squat on the Spui, right opposite the town hall, we are adding an important new page to the rich squatting history of our city, with the predecessors being the Blauwe Aanslag, the Illusion, the Vloek, the Autonoom Centrum, the Samenscholen, Villa K and more. Let this action be the starting signal for a new wave of squatting actions in the city! 


After a successful campaign against vacancy with a lot of support from the city, the owner arrived around 9 p.m. Atom Zhoustormed into the building.

He was furious and used physical violence against the new users of the building. People were kicked and beaten and forcibly evicted, with some sustaining injuries. After the intervention of the police, the group of users decided to leave the building in view of the unsafe situation that had arisen as a result of the physical violence and because the police could not guarantee their housing rights. They will sleep somewhere else tonight.

We will not stop at this illegal eviction. Every night is an opportunity to work on solutions to the housing crisis!

This promotion in the news:

AD | Vacant building opposite city hall squatted: 'It has been rotting for years without any prospects'

The Hague FM | Homeowner violently evicts activists from squatted building on Spui

The Hague Central | Column: Right opposite the town hall, a monumental building can crumble without any worries

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