Monday, 2 February 2015 - 13:31
Housing boss fanned racial tensions to muscle elderly tenants: report
A statement from Rob Wassenberg of housing corporation Seyster Veste caused great unrest among residents of care complex Park Boswijk on Saturday. Wassenberg "threatened" with the arrival of Syrian refugees in an attempt to convince the mostly elderly apartment owners to support the renovation of the complex. "How do you think the municipality will respond when we say that we have so many apartments available for Syrians?" Wassenberg said during an information meeting for the residents of Park Boswijk. The statement upset the residents, who called it an indelicate remark. "We feel put under pressure to cooperate", said Annemarijk Schade, chairman of the residents' committee. "70 percent are against the plans." According to Wassenberg, it was not his intention to put these people under pressure. "I want to indicate how incredibly necessary this project is. If we do nothing, there will come a time when someone wants to bring in IVA students. Or, indeed, the COA comes along. The selected example was a bad one, but that is hindsight." Seyster Veste really wants to renovate. To be able to build, the corporation needs a majority of the owners association to agree. They still need 61 votes. These renovations involve large scale improvement of the complex and amenities. Seyster Vester wants to renovate the complex with project developer ABC. Residents came up with an alternative plan, but the corporation still chose for the developer. According to Wassenberg, the developer has more strength and experience in this field. Bospark, like many similar facilities, has a high vacancy rate. More than half of Seyster Veste's rental apartments are empty. High fees scare off buyers.