Utrecht. Netherlands. On Friday 19 November, an empty house on the Croeselaan was squatted. The squatters announced this during the Utrecht Housing Protest on Sunday 21 November. The squatting of the house is part of the national housing protest that speaks out against the current housing crisis. The squatters demand immediate action and do not want to wait for the empty promises of political parties and housing corporations.
Originally published by Squat net.
During the demonstration, the squatters invited the demonstrators on the Jaarbeursplein to come and have coffee and tea at the new squat. The property on the Croeselaan had been vacant for a long time, while the blocks of social housing next to it are scheduled for demolition.
The squatters find it appalling that local political parties advocate the demolition of social housing, while further down the street, properties are unnecessarily empty. At the same time, there is an unprecedented housing crisis, which means that people in need of a house are on waiting lists, miss out on a house because investors outbid them and, if they do manage to get a house, have to work their asses off to pay the rent.
According to one squatter, squatting is still a legitimate option in combating the current housing crisis in 2021: “Although squatting has been criminalized since the squatting ban in 2010, squatting is still possible. It is a legitimate form of direct action that addresses the vacancy of housing and directly converts this vacancy into housing.” In addition to housing, the squatters also want to use the space to host social, cultural and political events.
Although there are plans for the vacant building, the property is far from habitable. “This shows how real estate investors consider profit more important than creating sufficient and decent housing. The power of investors and speculators must be broken. Houses are for people, not for profit,” said one of the squatters.