Wageningen. Netherlands. A group of students announced today that they have squatted a building in the city center. During the housing crisis, they not only want to live there, but also create a cultural place where people can meet.
Originally published by Squat Net.
The building belongs to Zideris, a health organization that has had it empty for 5 years. In times of growing housing shortage and rising house prices, the students find it incomprehensible that usable living space remains unused for so long. Especially in Wageningen, where the university continues to expand and attract companies, insufficient solutions are offered for all those seeking housing. “Squatting can really be a solution to the housing crisis,” says one of the students. “It’s weird that a lot of buildings sit empty for years while a lot of people can’t find a house.”
The Zideris from building has been vacant for five years and has been decaying for a long time. By moving in, the students want to make the building look better. By doing so, they also want to make the building more pleasant for the neighbourhood, explains a new resident of the building. “We are planning to renovate the building and especially the neglected garden. Ultimately, we even want to grow our own vegetables there.”
The students believe that good contact with the neighbourhood and the owner is important. They have informed the owner and the police of the squatting and hope for a temporary contract with the owner. They also want – if the health measures allow – to provide a space where community activities can be held. Squatted houses thus often offer a so-called “cultural free space”: a space where new forms of being with each other and the environment can be tried out. The students therefore call on local residents to come forward with ideas for the building.