Residential Rebellion!


- national housing movement -

On January 31, 2022, some representatives of the housing movement spoke with Aedes, the sector association of housing corporations in the Netherlands. Five representatives of different housing action groups discussed the housing crisis and possible solutions with Aedes chairman Martin van Rijn to ensure affordability, housing security and equal access to housing for tenants and home seekers. The meeting took place at the office of the Woonbond, which facilitated the meeting.

The conversation with Aedes went as expected. Topics of discussion were affordability, for example by freezing rents, abolishing temporary leases, no evictions and failure to implement the discriminatory Rotterdam Act. Unfortunately, Aedes does not want to comply with these demands. Aedes obviously wants us to meet the requirements that are important to them. With our demonstrations, for example, we have insisted on the abolition of the landlord levy. Among other things, we demand that structurally more money goes to the social rental sector, that buying and renting are treated equally and that corporation tax for housing associations is abolished, which yields more than 1 billion per year. These are requirements that Aedes can fully agree with, but in return we demand more say from the housing associations for tenants, affordable rents, for example through rent freeze, and no temporary lease contracts to guarantee housing security for tenants.

By failing to comply with our demands, Aedes is siding with this anti-social cabinet and not with tenants. For too long Aedes has ruled over the heads of tenants. Tenants are now taking matters into their own hands and have sent out a clear signal: 'we can't take this anymore'.

Now that Aedes is again not acting as a partner in this housing struggle, we will unfortunately have to treat Aedes as an opponent. That means we are gearing up for tougher actions. Aedes wants to stay in touch with us. Of course we remain open to the conversation. It is then up to Aedes whether they are willing to commit to our requirements and provide support by actually implementing changes that are essential for tenants. The ball is now in Aedes's court.

(post 8 February 2022)