Thursday, June 24, 2010

Debate takes place in Netherlands on housing for youth in Hoogvliet

On Friday June 18th, a debate concerning housing for young people took place in Hoogvliet, a municipality within the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Organized in-part by IDEA-Netherlands, several youth from the area hosted the debate to raise awareness about housing concerns for youth in the area.

Several issues about youth housing in Hoogvliet were discussed during the debates. One such problem was that many young people have to wait for long periods of time before they can obtain a proper apartment, and that allocation preference is often given to other groups of the population. Poor quality housing and a lack of information about available housing was also discussed. Another major issue addressed the municipality's decision to replace existing housing with more expensive houses.

Although the organizing youth members have had problems themselves, they know many others with housing difficulties as well. One youth commented, "Some youngsters move from friend to friend because staying with parents is just not possible anymore."

Local politicians and representatives of the housing corporations were invited to the debate, and were already aware of these problems. However, after attending and participating in the debate with local youth, they were impacted by the severity of this situation. Erwin Zwijnenburg, the Director of Woonbron Property Company, came up with a solution for the near future, which entails making a flat, that was soon to be demolished, into appropriate housing for young people. He also agreed to meet with youth again, to make further improvements in the next few months.

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