And there's a nice cardboard box available on Koningstraat...

So, I've known for a while that the housing situation in the Netherlands is very tight. It can takes months for someone to find a place, any place at all, of even minimal quality. And students can expect to pay €600+/month for a tiny room with all shared facilities. Both serious effort and luck are required to find a suitable place. It has crossed my mind more than once that our stay here in the Netherlands might come to a crashing halt this summer due to sudden homelessness.

And apparently it's even worse than I thought. One of the sites discussing housing and offering advice has suggested squatting. Yes, that's right, squatting. Literally:

And then you can of course also consider SQUATTING yourself. There's squatting information "officehours" (Kraak SpreekUur) for the different parts of Amsterdam several times a week. Keep in mind that no-one's gonna just give you a squat; you'll probably have to find some (one year officially unused) empty housing first. Sympathising people from the squatting movement will then help you squat the place: Students in general: squat.net/studenten/ ; make an appointment via studenten@squat.net.

Apparently the Netherlands has such a housing crunch that people retain open properties for the speculation market. In order to counter this, the government has squatting laws — find a building unoccupied for one year, and you can claim it as your own.

I don't know whether to be impressed or depressed.

Permalink • Posted in: Culture, life abroad, Netherlands, Utrecht