Amsterdam moves 'neighbours from hell' to container dwelling

5th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

A problem-causing family from Amsterdam Noord have been evicted from their home and moved to a new dwelling, constructed out of containers on a piece of wasteland to the east of the city.

More removals will take place in the coming years, the city's mayor Eberhard van der Laan told the Parool newspaper. The eviction took place after a last-ditch attempt by the family to call a halt failed in court.

The mayor said the forcible removal was a very tough measure but that the family's bullying and intimidatory behaviour left him with little choice.

‘The family has been causing problems for years and has a history of vandalism, noise nuisance and threatening behaviour,' the mayor said. ‘If other options fail, it is the perpetrator who has to move, not the vicitims.'

New policy

The Dimitrov family is the first to be forcibly moved following the adoption of new council policy, last year. ‘The container homes will be used more often, and in different parts of the city. This is how we want to deal with the most extreme cases of problem families,' the mayor said.

Members of the family compare the container home - numbered 48a and 48b - to a concentration camp.

‘The mayor talks a lot about Auschwitz but sends us to this place. Where is my mother in law supposed to do the shopping,' Francois Lonis, ex partner of one of the Dimitrov daughters named Raij, told the Parool. Lonis still lives with the family.

Lonis told the paper the two containers are too small for eight people, including three children. ‘Our television does not fit in,' he said.


Such moves to isolate 'neighbours from hell' are not new. In the 19th century, troublemakers were moved to special villages in Drenthe and Overijssel where they were to be reducated and learn a trade.

Several other cities, including Arnhem and Tilburg, already use purpose-built containers to house problem tenants, mainly single people with a history of drink or drugs abuse.

These projects are based on a Danish method of dealing with difficult tenants known as Skaeve Huse.


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