At the Eindhoven cinema LAB-1, a hundred students will protest next Wednesday against the housing shortage in the city. Half of these students have no permanent place to sleep. A part will stay overnight in the cinema.
Several discussions and debates will be held during the protest in LAB-1. There is also a video of the situations in which some students live. “It’s actually just absurd when you hear stories of students who have to sleep on couches or in tents”, Chris de Zeeuw, owner of LAB-1, says.
“We saw that several Design Academy students did not have a permanent place to sleep”, he said. This allowed Chris to easily connect with students, including Noam Hasak-Lowy. She and another student were forced to sleep in a tent recently. “We were already getting attention from the media and now we need to continue that”, Noam said.
Noam is also attending the protest. “Our goal is to unite with other students who also care about this. With the discussions, we want to make a plan for the next protest. Here we can then invite politicians and schools to present this plan”.
The housing situation is frustrating for the students. “It’s not that we’re not trying our best to find something. There’s just not enough room. We won’t keep our mouths shut and we keep getting irritated”. De Zeeuw: “I wanted to give them a place to make their voices heard. At the municipality, they are often sent from pillar to post”.
Alderman Mieke Verhees of Wonen (housing) announced earlier that everything is being done to address the housing shortage, but that the problems cannot be solved overnight either.
Students who do not have a permanent place to live can stay overnight in LAB-1. “The rest unfortunately cannot stay. At first there were going to be 150 students but that was a little too much of a problem”.
So many students struggle to find a permanent place to live and seek alternatives. For example, River hops from couch to couch. Students Adèle and Noam, meanwhile, no longer sleep in the tent, but now live temporarily in a storage unit. “At least now we have a roof over our heads”.