In order to be able to carry out our tasks in the best possible way, De Eerste Kamer actively works together with all kinds of parties. Below are some of the parties we are cooperating with:
As the tenants association of DUWO The Hague, DUWO is our most important conversational partner. DUWO is a social housing corporation for students. With over 30,000 student residences, this organisation is the largest provider of student housing in the country. In fact, we pursue the same goal, good and affordable housing for students, only we do so from the tenant’s perspective.
The Supervisory Board supervises DUWO and consists of six members. Each member is responsible for a portfolio that matches his or her expertise. Hans Nederlof (1962) and Floris Koopman (1982) sit on the Supervisory Board on behalf of the tenants. Mr Nederlof is a director at Fontys Hogescholen and specializes in property management, project development and economics and Mr Koopman is a legal expert at Shell International B.V. and has an affinity for fiscal affairs. De Eerste Kamer meets the tenants commissioners twice a year to catch up and discuss the annual report and policy plan of DUWO.
Municipality The Hague
The municipality, together with the joint housing corporations, is responsible for public housing policy. A voice of the tenants is essential in order to influence the decisions that the municipality and housing corporations make together. Since the introduction of the new Housing Act (2015), tenants’ organisations have been given a greater role. In the ‘three-party consultation’ between the municipality, housing corporations and tenants, we are able to influence local housing policy. The policy is laid down each year in the performance agreements.
In addition to housing, education is also central to a student’s life. For this reason, the educational institutions are a valuable discussion partner for us. Furthermore, part of the contracts for DUWO residences are signed through the educational institutions. This is especially the case with international students. The largest group of students, who rent accommodation from DUWO The Hague, study at The Hague University of Applied Sciences or Leiden University.
De Eerste Kamer is a member of the Woonbond, the national association for tenants and their organisations. Through the Woonbond, we can raise a powerful voice for tenants in places where this is desperately needed: in political The Hague and in consultations with other organisations that influence the national housing policy.
Van der Knaap Wonen
De Eerste Kamer is professionally supported by Van der Knaap Wonen. The board sees added value in having a permanent legal advisor to strengthen its position in relation to DUWO, both on a local and on an overall level, as de Eerste Kamer works together with the other associations of Leiden, Delft, Amstelveen and Amsterdam. The advisor advises on cooperation with DUWO and provides feedback on proposals. At the request of the board, the advisor can also form or lead larger projects that strengthen De Eerste Kamer.
Tenants of a student complex can come together in an resident’s committee (bewonerscommissie in Dutch, or BC for short). Residents’ committees represent the interests of all residents of a specific complex. This makes it possible to apply specific, personalized solutions. Just like the tenants’ association, residents’ committees operate at the level of residents’ participation, whose rights and obligations are also included in the Consultation Act. De Eerste Kamer supports the residents’ committees with knowledge and financial resources.
Student representatives, employed by DUWO, provide all kinds of services for the tenants in his or her complex and are the first point of contact for both the tenant and DUWO. Student representatives meets with each new tenant and provides information about the building, fire safety and house rules. Student representatives are the ears and eyes of a complex and are able to quickly identify problems that occur (or arise) in the complex. For this reason, student representatives are valuable partners of De Eerste Kamer.
DUWO is present in several cities, these being Leiden, Delft, Amstelveen, Amsterdam (and surroundings), Wageningen and Deventer. When issues arise in multiple cities, De Eerste Kamer unites its efforts with fellow tenant organizations, so that we can pressure DUWO in multiple ways to resolve issues. In December 2019, this cooperation was formally laid down in the Cooperation Agreement (Samenwerkingsovereenkomst, SOK). This has been co-signed by tenants association BRES (Leiden), WijWonen (Delft) and Vereniging Bewoners Uilenstede (Amstelveen). Duwoners (Amsterdam) has not signed and Wageningen and Deventer do not (yet) have a tenants’ organisation. The undersigned tenants’ organisations have also formed a cooperation agreement with each other, the so-called Samenwerkende Huurdersorganisaties (SHO for short) (Cooperating Tenants’ Organisations in English), which has been defined in the Vision Document.
De Eerste Kamer is open at all times to cooperate with other organisations. This year, for example, we are investigating the possibilities of joining forces with other tenants’ associations (not of DUWO), such as within the partnerships Landelijk Overleg Studentenhuisvesting (National Consultation Student Housing) and Samenwerkende Huurdersorganisaties Haaglanden (Cooperating Tenants’ Associations Haaglanden).
Amsterdam (en surroudings)