Lively discussion in Groningen City Council about the ban on coexistence. According to Alderman Rik van Niejenhuis (PvdA) of Wonen, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages.
In Groningen, two people can only buy or rent a house if they form a family. This means that no two close friends or two close friends, who are not related to a relationship, are allowed to live in the same house. The rule was introduced in 2020, but due to the Corona crisis, the regulation has not been discussed. Since the rule was introduced, actions have been taken in six homes where people do not live together according to the correct rules.
Rik Heiner (VVD): “If you two share a bed together, you can live together, otherwise not”
The discussion was put on the agenda by the VVD group. “We’re talking about banning coexistence,” says council member Rick Hainer. “It is forbidden to live together in Groningen. If you share a bed, you may live together, but you may not live in the same house with a friend. We think this is inappropriate. We ask the municipal council to remove these regulations.”
Julian Boschoff (PvdA): “Does VVD want the problems to continue at Schilderswijk?”
The introduction could immediately be based on a sharp question from party leader Julian Boschoff of the PvdA: “If you abolish the regulations, that’s the dam wall, right? Then you can also live with three or four people. Then what happens? Then a lot of houses are converted into a student residence, and the disturbance grows. Does the VVD want the problems at Schilderswijk to continue?”
Heiner: “It’s not fair that this link is created.”
Heiner: “You get out of context. If you both move into a house in Helpman or De Wijert, it’s very different from Schildersbuurt. It’s not fair that this bond is made.” Boschoff: “But tell me how do you want to do it legally to make this possible. What tool do you want to use?” Heiner: “If two people are going to live together in a house, it’s not necessarily a nuisance. We think regulations should be removed. It should Two good friends or two good friends can live together.”
Heiner: “Do not deny two widows who will live together?”
Hainer is not alone in the debate. For example, ChristenUnie’s “Laurent Duarshuis” spokesperson suggests taking a maximum of two people into the house. And the D66 group also has its doubts about the regulations. Heiner: “We’re not just talking about young people, right? People who move in together, you fight loneliness. Or two widows who move together because it’s more practical. You shouldn’t ban that, right?”
Elte Hillekens (GroenLinks): “Measurement is used only if disturbance”
Elte Hillekens of GroenLinks: “The as-is procedure is used only if there is a disturbance. It’s not like people with binoculars walk down the street to check if people who live together are sleeping in one bed. That’s not the case here at all” .
Mariska Sloot (Stadspartij 100% for Groningen): “We are dealing with a dragon for a rule if it is applied subjectively”
This comment puts in 100% bad blood for Groningen at Stadspartij’s Mariska Sloot: “I’m very surprised. So there’s a rule, but we decide for ourselves if it applies? That’s impossible? If you drive through a red light as a motorist, you will be fined.” , right? We’re dealing with a dragon for a rule if it is self-enforced.”
Jim Lo-A-Njoe (D66): “We agreed on this, but there was something hidden in the papers”
Stephen Bush, president of Student & Stad Parties, calls it a “strange policy”: “The rules have gone too far. In the past, six people have taken to the street as a result of this rule. Stop discriminating.” D66’s Jim Lo-A-Njoe also doesn’t feel comfortable with it: “These regulations were made to thwart mortgages. To some extent we can understand this rule. We also agreed on this, but there was something hidden in the papers. We see absolutely no need to enter This is in other areas.
Lindert van der Laan (PvhN): “Didn’t you really realize that?”
Lendert van der Laan of the North Party: “Mr. Lo-a-ngwe, didn’t you really realize this?” Lo-a-ngwe: “We’re talking about a rule by which the government decides how you should live together. This is not freedom. This is not good.”
Alderman Rick van Nijenhuis (PvdA): ‘We want to protect tenants and stand up to their mortgagee’
Alderman Rick van Nijenhuis (PvdA) of Wenen was surprised by the discussion: “I see a lot of assumptions in this discussion. As a council, you instructed the council to push the limits on what is allowed. In order to protect tenants and deal with mortgages. We believe the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. We believe that housing is not possible without a strong government We must make sure that construction takes place, but in addition to construction there must also be organization. Everyone must have a place, and without organization not everyone gets a place. Without organization, there will be no People with less than average income manage to get a place in the city.”
An alderman describes it as an arms race between pawnbrokers and renters. We want to fight the “mix” of houses. We’ve focused on this through the studios. But what do you see? Malicious parties will divide the studios. The numbers can accumulate quickly. One to two residents have fifty to one hundred housing units. More people means more inconvenience, and people who live in worse conditions on smaller surfaces. We have made arrangements to prevent one step being undo on the next.”
“We don’t want to bother people, especially in these times”
Van Niejenhuis describes the way the VVD presents the situation as disturbing: “Living is unsustainable these days. Living together can be a bitter necessity to get through these times. Our aim is to protect people, not hinder them. This is not the case either. I find it really disturbing that The situation is presented this way. It is a misrepresentation of Mr. Heiner.”
“If you are about to give birth, you can drive through a red light”
“During the last period, five reports and one execution request have been received from people who live together, but are not in a relationship. We will get out of there. No one has been expelled, and no one is illegal. What did Mrs. Sloot say. It is not a ban on cohabitation, it is housing protection. No You are allowed to drive through a red light. But if you are pregnant and about to give birth, the officer says, please proceed to the hospital. That’s how we look at the situation.”
“It is unfortunate that this discussion is accompanied by false representations.”
“I don’t know how many people live together in Groningen without being in a relationship. As a municipality we are not ready to remove the rule. The rule adds something. It is a pity that this discussion is accompanied by false representations. This is not constructive. I also think it is a shame to act D66 this way. It’s not in line with the way we’ve worked together in recent years.”