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The Hague: Crush economic powers! Against the sellout of the city!

Short Stay, No Way!

The Hague. Netherlands. Recently we occupied the building at Waldeck Pyrmontkade 872 in Den Haag-Zeeheldenkwartier. The ongoing corona crisis has not only exposed but also exacerbated the housing shortage and financial scarcity. The consequences of the crisis are certainly felt by us young adults.

Originally published by Indymedia NL. Translated by Squat Net.

The only things that are available to us are flex-contracts and temporary rents, which cause uncertainty and stress and offer no security.

At this time in particular, it is important for everyone to have a secure home. Especially women and LHBT+ young people, who are a target of patriarchal oppression and as a result often have lower incomes and precarious jobs, should have access to a safe and stable living situation. Even young people who have no choice but to enter into zero-hour contracts are now slaving in supermarkets and delivery services while their living situation is as precarious as their income. That is why we have taken action.

The property has been used for years by support organisations against domestic violence and for youth support. These organizations have moved because of the high rent. Now the property has been purchased by the Amsterdam investment fund RE:BORN real-estate. RE:BORN wants to transform this former office building into 30 luxury apartments, with a “short stay” construction. Short stay apartments are homes, where a tenant may stay for a maximum of six months. These apartments are therefore fully aimed at expats who are staying in The Hague for a short period of time. They often work in our city’s established multinationals and international organizations such as Shell, KLM, Total, Siemens, ICC, Europol and the numerous embassies.

RE:BORN’s approach is therefore one of pure commodification of the housing stock: the real estate cowboys go after the profits and do not care about the housing shortage in society.

Companies such as RE:BORN benefit fully from the bankruptcy of social housing corporations, which are making way for companies such as RE:BORN in a desperate environment where profit takes precedence over people. This leaves a vacuum that companies like RE:BORN are all too happy to fill.

We won’t take it anymore!

The occupation of the building on the Waldeck Pyrmontkade and the interfering in the proposed project for ‘short-stay’ apartments is a first step towards more control over the city. We no longer accept that companies dominate the urban landscape with their profit motive. Time and again real estate deals are being made in closed meeting rooms that take the city away from us. The control over the city has been privatised, only the rich can determine what the city will look like: who is allowed to live there, why and how public spaces are designed, and until when and for how much we are allowed to occupy our homes. They devour all the social and communal spaces in order to turn them into profitable projects. To them, the inhabitants of the city are nothing more than dairy cows. We refuse to allow ourselves to be sucked out by house milkers and real estate companies.
We refuse to live in insecurity and have to work harder and longer just to be able to live somewhere.
We have made our decision: we won’t take it anymore!

The city belongs to all of us. Reclaim the city!
Short Stay? No Way!


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