Friday, August 20, 2010

Some animals are more equal than others

750 privately owned houses

This blog featured a post yesterday about the City of Amsterdam which is confiscating the second house of people who have a first house elsewhere. 750 owners are risking de facto confiscation. The confiscated houses have to be rented at controlled nominal rents to people who are deemed needy by the municipal bureaucrats, according to the housing statute of the City of Amsterdam. Labour party (PvdA) politicians are still defending the policy on the thinnest of grounds. Namely that the shortage of houses is "so acute". But no grounds are needed when men are bent on being tyrants. Whim is the heart of tyrranny.

Forced into loss

These house owners have to rent out the houses at rents which do not cover the costs of the mortgage, they are forced into heavy losses. But the municipality does not care about their troubles. It does not feel their pain. 

400 municipality owned houses

How could it know their pain? The municipality does not own houses, does it? However today Dutch daily "De Telegraaf" dug up the fact that the municipality owns about 400 houses in the centre of Amsterdam (Dutch). Two municipality owned firms, NV Zeedijk and NV Stadsherstel, obtained these houses in campaigns to end the large power drugs- and other mafias have in the Amsterdam red light district. By forcing suspect and seedy owners to sell their houses in this district. This by force of another right to property undermining law: BIBOB. But that is another story.

Paying mortgages is a pain

The municipality paid good money to obtain these houses. It had to get mortgages from banks to finance the purchases. And now the municipality has to pay the montly payments on the mortgages. According to the statutes used against the owners of second homes the houses are not used for living by the owner. And they have a value below 163,000 Euro. So they qualify as houses which must be rented out at controlled, nominal rents, according to the Amsterdam housing statute.

Amsterdam and its newest, bestest friends

However the houses are rented out through nearby hotels, Krasnapolsky and Barbizon, at 200 Euros per night. The location of the houses is the best, there will be a lot of demand for these municipality owned houses. The municipality and friends must be making a killing on this deal. The civil servants enforcing the confiscations from the private owners of second homes have been instructed to waive the statute for the municipality owned houses. This was confirmed by former Amsterdam Alderman Hans Gerson in September 2009 on the grounds that otherwise the municipality would own the houses at a loss. That is enough reason when the municipality has to bear it, but not enough reason when prive owners have to bear it.  

See no evil

Oh and if houses are rented out and it does not get into the books? There is no keeping track of the coming and going of tourists and travellers is there? This situation is ideal for the creation of black, undeclared money flows. Who knows who might be on the take?

Some animals are real pigs if you ask me

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