I believe it is insane that anti-squat still exists in the way it is today. Anti-squat was initially created by anti-squat companies to protect vacant property from squatters and give a home to people in need of housing. But currently, anti-squat tenants are at the mercy of the arbitrariness and whims of their anti-squat agency. Especially with the current housing shortage in the Netherlands, the power relations between the offices and the residents are seriously at the expense of the tenants.
In October 2019, fifty tenants of the anti-squat company Camelot were made homeless after a fire at Coolsingel 75.
Based on this horrible event, I decided to write a statement based on my personal experiences and the experiences I gathered from other anti-squat residents about the malpractices of various anti-squat companies.
I provided the political party SP with tenants’ stories and concrete facts from my research. Together with my personal statement, this research became a basis for parliamentary questions being asked to the bench of Mayor and Aldermen of Rotterdam.
The parliamentary questions led to a valuable discussion between the council members of Rotterdam. Unfortunately, the alderman decided that it wasn’t enough reason to end the contract between the municipality and Camelot.
In April 2020, based on the answers to the parliamentary questions by the bench of Mayor and Aldermen, the municipality finally decided to cut ties with Camelot and cancel their contract.