Think you can’t afford to share a place with friends in Amsterdam and its surrounding towns? Think again. Housing corporation Rochdale has set up a system to help youngsters rent a place without needing huge deposits and massive salaries.
It has never been harder to find a roof over your head in and around Amsterdam, particularly if you are new to the country and not exactly earning a huge salary. That is why housing corporation Rochdale has worked out a way to enable a group of friends to share a property with a proper contract and without being ripped off.
The Friends contract works like this. You get together with your mates – the contract can be signed by up to three people – and get in touch with Rochdale by email. Explain what you are looking for and Rochdale’s experts will do the rest. Be aware, the properties are unfurnished without kitchen equipment.
What do you need?
A European passport or a residency permit, a job and a guarantor – your parents if they live in the Netherlands. If you don’t have a guarantor, you will need to come up with a deposit of three months’ rent. There is no age limit and the combined salaries of your group have to add up to three times the rent of the property – this means we know you can afford the rent. Most of our Friends properties cost around €1,000 a month so even if you are all earning the minimum wage, you’ll be eligible.
You do, of course, also need a healthy dose of realism. You won’t end up paying €300 for a fancy pad in the city centre. But you could end up sharing a house with garden in the Tuinsteden outside the ring road or a large modern flat with open views over the countryside in Noord. And don’t forget the commuter towns of Zaandam and Purmerend, with great public transport links to the city centre (just 15 minutes by train). The houses here are also bigger and cheaper so you get more home for your money.
How long will it take?
It really depends on how picky you are and how long you are prepared to wait. Not every house is suitable to be shared. We won’t, for example, put a group of 20-somethings in a complex where almost everyone else is over the age of 60. But if you have a look at Rooftrack and look for the Rochdale homes, you get an idea of the kind of properties we have.
Why are we doing this?
Because Rochdale is a social housing provider and we are charged with helping those on low incomes find somewhere decent and affordable to live. That means everyone in Amsterdam, whether a city born native or a new arrival.
We recognise that if you are young and new to the city, there is no way you will qualify for social housing. So our Friends contract allows you to share a more expensive vrijsector home and split the rent between you. This means, say, a €1,000 a month apartment with three bedrooms will cost you €330 a month each plus bills.
‘Our job as a housing corporation is to help all Amsterdammers find somewhere to live, and that includes new arrivals and young people,’ says Rochdale director Hester van Buren. ‘The Friends contract is all about making this possible.’
If you think renting a Friends home via Rochdale sounds like the thing for you, you can either fill in the website form (in English) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.