The American venture capitalists of Blackstone lie, squatted below one of their buildings in June, with a vacancy notification for 328 Amsterdam addresses. Earlier, six other empty homes were followed. All those houses were in their possession at the time, but were empty.
Alderman Rutger Groot Wassink, who is temporarily Alderman for Housing, reports this in response to questions from the SP. The party asked for clarification at all bachelor party in the Sint Willibrordusstraat in De Pijp was evicted by the police. according to the squatters it had been “rotting away empty for years”.
“Given the great housing shortage in Amsterdam, the council finds the long-term emptying of homes socially unacceptable,” writes Groot Wassink. He says the city government is fighting “with all possible means” long-term vacant homes. “It is a duty to use houses for what they are intended, namely habitation.”
“It is a very difficult job to map which homes are assigned to which Dutch branch of Blackstone”
It is not clear to him whether the reported 334 homes are still empty and whether they are no longer there. According to Groot Wassink, Blackstone’s total home ownership is too difficult, because the real estate portfolio is divided into different companies. “That is why it is a very difficult job to map out the homes in which Dutch branch of Blackstone are housed.”
Homeowners must notify the municipality after six months of vacancy can follow a conversation. The previous owner did this for this property in January 2020. ‘Rembrandt Propco’, the Dutch subsidiary of Blackstone that bought the property in July 2020, also registered such a notification in mid-June 2021. This is happening. “Due to corona and the lockdown, this appointment has not taken place,” writes Groot Wassink.
“Agreements are being made with this owner about making it habitable as soon as possible”
According to Rembrandt Propco, renovation of the building is underway. That would take nine out of ten months. The municipality wants to conduct a vacancy consultation and an on-site investigation for the property. Groot Wassink: “Agreements are being made with this owner about making the property habitable and making it habitable as soon as possible.”
Groot Wassink also indicates that the municipality will also talk with Rembrandt Propco “in the very short term” about it in a report of vacancy at 328 addresses. He wants to let the municipal councilors know what the agreements are drawn up and made.
The alderman believes that the current Vacancy Act does not provide sufficient opportunities to tackle long-term vacancy. Currently, the municipality can only issue fines if vacancy is not reported, but the city council also wants to be able to issue fines for vacancy itself. However, after the report and the conversation with the municipality, the vacancy would “in many cases” be resolved by the owners.
SP parliamentary party chairman Erik Flentge, who has asked questions, the answers from Groot Wassink surprising. “328 vacant properties reported, in one. How does it exist?
Flentge says he wants to do further research into Blackstone.
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