Almere is making plans to banish persistent troublemakers to special housing areas on the edge of the city, news agency ANP reported on Friday.
According to mayor Annemarie Jorritsma, some people cause so much trouble in their neighbourhood that moving them is the only option. It is often difficult to take legal action against troublemakers because they often don’t break the law, Jorritsma said.
‘Sometimes they play very loud music day and night, they bang doors and are always fighting. And sometimes they terrorise their neighbours,’ the mayor said. ‘I know of people who have moved because of the problems and that is not the way it should be.’
Similar experiments are underway in other cities. Last month Amsterdam moved an extended family to two container homes on wasteland in the south east of the city.
‘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 city’s mayor said at the time.
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 re-educated 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.