Economic homelessness is a fast-growing problem, often accompanied by negative consequences. However, it is also a problem with a clear solution: living space. There are now 3,000 economic homeless people in the municipality of Amsterdam and the pressure of the problem on the city is increasing. Solutions for more housing are on the rise, but offer no way out of today's need.
SHORTAGE ON THE HOUSING MARKET
The Netherlands has a large scarcity of affordable housing, especially since the economic crisis of 2008. In Amsterdam, this deficit currently rises to 50.000 in 2020. The social rented sector has fallen by 20% in the last 20 years. While the number of homes in the low and middle segments are decreasing, the number of households looking for a home in the city are increasing every year. According to Woningnet, the waiting time in Amsterdam for a social rental property is currently more than 10 years.
The group that fails to find a permanent home are the so-called economic homeless. This group is also called 'self-reliant' homeless people. This often concerns people who, due to financial problems and/or a certain life event (such as job loss, bankruptcy, divorce), can no longer independently provide housing. Because they used to have a good home at their disposal, they are often not registered with Woningnet. For example, these people will end up at the bottom of the waiting list of more than ten years. With no prospect of a property in the short term, many run the risk of eventually running out of housing. In this group, a multiple request for help is usually not (yet) discussed.
TIME TO ACT
This information is not new. In recent years, several projects have been set up to temporarily house the economically homeless. But with the increasing numbers, waiting lists are getting longer and longer. It is clear that more is needed to be able to give everyone in this group a roof over their heads within a considerable time. It is time to act!