Amsterdam Youth Board advises on municipal youth housing policy

25 Jan 2023

Young people in Amsterdam created a manifesto on local housing mismatches as an outcome of the UPLIFT project.

On December 12, five members of the UPLIFT youth panel presented a manifesto to Alderman Reinier van Dantzig. This manifesto contained advice on the future of youth housing in Amsterdam. It was prepared by the UPLIFT Amsterdam Youth Panel, on request of the municipality of Amsterdam and under guidance from !WOON (an NGO that protects the rights and interests of residents).   

In several sessions over the past year, the youth panel members have explored and discussed the local housing market and local youth housing policies, based on input that they have received from the municipality. They investigated bottle-necks and outlined possible solutions, which were subsequently discussed with professionals from the municipality. Eventually, youth panel bundled their ideas and findings in a list of recommendations to the municipality: the manifesto.

Panelists Wouter and Mara briefly presented the manifesto. They explained how it was created: in  iterative and democratic discussions among the members of the Youth Board. Then they briefly explained all the recommendations.

This was followed by a substantive discussion. The young people talked to the alderman about the lack of affordable housing options, the dilemmas surrounding temporary rental contracts, and the need for a better information provision. Proposals for more collective housing and actively combatting vacant real estate were well received by both the alderman and Martine Bos, deputy director of Land & Development. The alderman pledged to think further about encouraging housing cooperatives and other creative ways of co-housing or house sharing for young people.

Panelist Wouter:

"With the UPLIFT project, we united as a group to address the problems of young people in the housing market. We came up with a list of recommendations, which we compiled through a democratic process. We hope that this document makes a positive contribution to the housing problem. We would like the municipality to act on our recommendations, because we are the future of Amsterdam."

The manifesto (in Dutch) can be read here.

The handover of the manifesto to the alderman marked the end of the UPLIFT-funded co-creation activities with young people in Amsterdam. In three sprints, the young people of the panel have been able to think along and share their opinions about local housing policies with local policy makers. But fortunately, the process does not stop here. !WOON will continue with the Youth Board and organizes a fourth sprint (starting on January 30, 2023) about cooperative housing for young people. For more information, check the following link (in Dutch) here.