Permanent homes are the ultimate goal, but it is predicted that it will take at least another decade before sufficient housing can be delivered. Until then, we need solutions to provide immediate housing for those who can’t find it on their own.
We propose two solutions, the first is to make a small part of Amsterdam's hotel room capacity available for short term housing. The second is focussed on longer term housing, in which entire hotel buildings are transformed into temporary houses.
The first solution we are proposing is to make 1% of the hotel rooms in Amsterdam permanently available to the target group of the economically homeless. The COVID crisis has offered opportunities to provide temporary housing for the economic homeless in unoccupied hotel rooms. At the moment, hotels, in collaboration with De Regenboog Groep, offer around 180 hotel rooms for temporary accommodation to people for whom regular (temporary) housing is still beyond reach. Hotel managers, economic homeless and De Regenboog Groep are very positive about the experiences so far. We advocate extending and structurally expanding this, as the problem of economic homelessness will still exist after the COVID crisis. These rooms could provide housing for 350 economic homeless people.
As a result of various stakeholder discussions, it is important for the implementation of this solution that the contract length is for a maximum of a few months. Because of this, people will be urged to find more permanent solutions. In many cases, this solution will be used to bridge the time that the economic homeless wait until they are eligible for other accommodation solutions. During the stay, the tenants will be supervised and supported by social workers of De Regenboog Groep in further stabilizing their life.
The second solution we are proposing is to transform hotels into temporary residential solutions. This would link economic development (surplus hotel capacity) to an immediate need (housing the economically homeless and curbing a social problem). Currently, De Regenboog Groep is already in conversation with a housing corporation who is interested in making this work.
The duration of these dwellings would be temporary. In any case, the realized homes should provide enough structure and time for the economically homeless to look for a permanent independent home. Social workers and volunteers from De Regenboog Groep can guide and support the new residents to work together towards a sustainable solution within Amsterdam or beyond. Those who live in the transformed hotel pay rent and a deposit. A contract is signed in which the rules of conduct within the property and the payment obligation are laid down. Participants also sign a contract with De Regenboog Groep, which includes effort promises and other agreements.