News summary | April 2018
Written by @CathyCentral on 30/04/2018
A news summary for Amsterdam this month …
More pressure on the local housing market | According to figures from the NVM, in the first quarter of 2018, only 1,245 houses were for sale in the whole of Amsterdam, a decrease of 20% percent compared to last year. Also the prices in the city rose almost 12 percent compared to a year earlier. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4592195/)
Amsterdam homeowners become mini-investors | Fewer Amsterdammers are selling their homes, even when they buy a new home, choosing instead to opt for a double mortage. The rental income they can get from the retained property is more that the cost of a double mortgage. Banks are increasingly helping the city’s homeowners to fund their second homes, making them private investors in the housing market. Because of this, the supply of houses for sale is decreasing even further.
The We Are Here squatters can stay in the empty homes on the Rudolf Dieselstraat until 1 June | Judges have not agreed with housing corporation Ymere’s requests to evacute the squatters immediately to allow housebuilding to continue. Support from local residents helped the case of the collective of female failed asylum seekers from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. The level of public disturbance in the neighbourhood (in the Watergraafsmeer area in Oost) was not substantial enough to merit emergency clearance. Meanwhile, the city council is working on a permanent 24-hour shelter for failed asylum seekers. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4596055/)
The new coalition of GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and SP has announced a plan for making Amsterdam a sustainable city, with all Amsterdammers required to contribute to the costs. Het Parool newspaper has shared the main points; the city has to get rid of natural gas faster, so we should expect some drastic measures over the next four years. For example, a 5% increase in the annual waste tax for Amsterdam households has been proposed. The Groenlinks leader acknowledges that they are exploring an “ambitious” program, still subject to a final decision. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4595551/)
More and more Brits want to become Dutch | Brexit has significantly increased the number of naturalisation applications in Amsterdam. In 2015 there were only fifteen Britons who filed a request to become Dutch, last year that number was almost seven times as high (102), according to the OIS, the city’s records department. They predict this trend will continue for several years. In addition, the number of new British immigrants to Amsterdam is growing. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4595554/)
Options for the first new bicycle bridge to Amsterdam North have been shared | Local residents on both sides of the IJ at Amsterdam’s Java-eiland have been able to review the various design proposals. If the Javabrug is built as planned by 2025, it is estimated that there will be up to 30,000 cyclists using it per day. This location was chosen in order to lure the traffic flows away from the Centre. Other connections to Amsterdam Noord may be added later on. There must be a decision made on the location of the Javabrug by the end of 2018. However, if the PTA cruise terminal remains, the construction of the bridge won’t be possible at all. The PTA decision will also be taken at the end of this year. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4595798/)
TunFun, the children’s underground play centre in Centrum has closed | It was ordered shut by the centrum district council as it was not fire safe. The manager had been given time to make changes and come up with a plan for improvements but the deadline had not been met, and so the “drastic” decision to order an immediate closure was made. The owner may have to apply for bankruptcy if the decision stands. The underground play park employs 28 people, and receives 130,000 visitors per year. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4595770/)
Visitor numbers to the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen have dropped sharply, and it’s survival is under threat | For example, in 2014, the museum attracted almost 100,000 people, compared to just 38,000 last year. Financially, the museum has been making a loss for a few years, with a loss of about half a million euros in 2018. Having previously displayed work by Paul Klee and Joan Miró (on loan), as well as the Cobra artists, it is thought that a lack of big name international exhibitions is a factor in the drop in popularity. (Source: https://s.parool.nl/s-a4594795/)
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Sources: Het Parool / AT5 / NLtimes.nl / Dutchnews.nl.