Fix the cruel house-sharing rules in Amstelveen Netherlands

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The local council in Amstelveen, next to Amsterdam, enforces extreme housing regulations restricting who can live with whom.  According to their rules, houses can only be occupied by a standard nuclear family, or a single person, or a group of people similar to a family, who share the facilities of the house.

The third option (group similar to family) sounds flexible. BUT, it is interpreted ruthlessly by the local council!  If the residents of a house are not blood related (cousins or siblings) they are forced to leave the house empty, under threat of a €30,000 fine!  One wonders if DNA tests will be introduced soon to disprove blood relationships.

Reminiscent of the WW2 era, the council encourages residents to spy on each other and inform on their neighbors. Thanks to their persistence, hundreds of houses now lie empty in Amstelveen, in the midst of Amsterdam's worst housing crisis.  Formerly happy households are broken up and forced out of their home.  Ads for such houses (on Funda.nl) bleakly state 'No colleagues sharing allowed, as this is no longer permitted by the Amstelveen town council ("Gemeente")'.  Also no friends or non-traditional family units!

This severe control is ostensibly to improve social harmony, but this brutal policy has the opposite effect, creating social discord and stress.  It also increases accommodation costs, by reducing supply. This makes life more difficult for expats and foreign students, who already struggle to find a room. It adversely affects the Dutch reputation and economy, which generates massive income from foreign students and has an acute IT skills shortage.

Many suspect the new eviction purge was introduced simply to reduce the number of Indian IT and other expats in Amstelveen which, as a good safe neighborhood, is a popular destination due to its big Indian population, several Indian supermarkets and restaurants.  This attack on the fundamental rights of expats to live where they wish, is extremely disturbing in a modern democracy like Holland, especially since Indians are surely one of the warmest and most hospitable races on Earth. Their IT workers are highly educated, well-paid and some of the best residents possible!  If you ever visit Indians they will invariably invite you for dinner, unlike the Dutch, who will unceremoniously ask you to leave when dinner time comes around!

We humbly request that this destructive bullying in our beloved democratic Netherlands be stopped forthwith.  This policy clearly discriminates against single people or anyone who is not in a traditional nuclear family. Nobody in the LGBT relationships could live in Amstelveen legally, unless they are officially married.

It simply cannot be justified on any grounds of improving society.  If individual households cause problems they can be reported by the neighbors and addressed accordingly. 

The wholesale indiscriminate uprooting of happy community-minded households who have sometimes lived together for years has disastrous results and achieves nothing positive.  It is doubtful that such policies exist in any other democracy, except maybe Myanmar.



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