It proved rather difficult to find good practices in the area of housing. Only a few affordable homes can be found in the big cities thanks to privatization and gentrification. Of course - despite the legal prohibition - some squats can still be found, but one of the things that we find important is that the good practices we share are also reproducible by others.
Via others we heard about NieuwLand. And so it happened that on a Saturday afternoon in September we were suddenly sandpapering, painting and sorting ...
NieuwLand is a self-organized social housing association in the heart of Amsterdam. In an old school building, classrooms have been transformed into affordable apartments, workspaces and a public space. Important values for the members of NieuwLand are the Do It Yourself mentality, sustainability and solidarity. Sounds pretty Commonfare right?!
We took a chance and just decided to drop by; we had read on their Facebook page that it was open. Upon arriving it didn’t take long before we got the question whether we could help with the sanding and painting of the woodwork outside. No problem, of course. A little later, it suddenly became very crowded in the public space. There was a clothes swap that afternoon. Local residents and others arrived with bags full of clothes to hand in and searched through the piles of clothes left by others to take home. Could we help sorting?
All in all it was a very nice afternoon and we were introduced to many and especially many diverse people. At the end of the day we also received a free meal as a thank you for our help. In short: worth a visit! Check the website and Facebook page for information about their activities and the organization itself. This example deserves repeating!
Other free public activities: film nights, revolutionary sing-alongs, game nights, and so on