Housing protest in Amsterdam today as crisis is the worst since WWII, organizers say
The need for housing has not been this great in the Netherlands since the Second World War, the organizers of the housing shortage protest said, according to NOS. The demonstration will take place on Sunday afternoon in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. More than 200 organizations announced they will join the protest.
The last time people in the Netherlands demonstrated against the housing shortage in the country was in the 1980s. Housing market professor Peter Boelhouwer has been waiting this moment he told NOS. “I have been thinking for years: where is the social discontent. In the 1980s, there was more resistance, while the situation now is more hopeless.”
House prices have been rising sharply and the waiting list in the social housing market extends for years. There is a shortage of around 300 thousand apartments in the Netherlands, according to housing market expert.
"Hundreds of thousands of people have been on the waiting list for years and house prices shot up like a rocket and the number of homeless doubled in the past ten years", the organizers of the protest said.
The housing shortage arose out of a number of reasons, according to Boelhower, including inefficient use of available housing, a high mortgage interest rate deduction and a general lack of available housing. “Even more important than phasing out the mortgage interest deduction is the provision of finances by the government for housing construction”, the housing market professor said.
People newly entering the Dutch housing market have a clear disadvantage against so-called insiders, Boelhouwer said. “For the outsiders there is housing shortage but for the insiders it is not problem. They profit off of the rising house prices and acquire a second apartment. The battle has always been unfair, but the number of outsiders has increased."
On Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. a protest against the housing shortage will kick off in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. Originally, the protest was meant to be held at the Dam Square, yet due to the large number of people expected to attend, the municipality moved the protest to the Westerpark. Another protest will be held on October 17 in Rotterdam.
Het WOONPROTEST op 12 september verhuist naar het Westerpark, met een mars terug naar de Dam na afloop van het podiumprogramma.— HET WOONPROTEST (@WOONPROTEST) September 7, 2021
Er is in overleg met Gemeente Amsterdam besloten dat de Dam te klein is voor de verwachte opkomst. We zien jullie zondag om 14:00 in het Westerpark! pic.twitter.com/gd0NGFsduR