Published On: 28 February, 20242.5 min read

EVICT Conference on The Impact of the Right to Housing in Times of Crisis – Day 2

January 26, 2024

On Friday morning, despite the blustery weather conditions, (almost) everyone met up bright and early for a guided tour of the Het Schip! Designed by Dutch architect Michel de Klerk, Het Schip is an iconic example of the Amsterdam School architectural style, which flourished in the early 20th century. We learnt about different features of the style and how to recognise it in the wild. Completed in 1921, Het Schip was originally a social housing complex commissioned by the housing association Eigen Haard (Own Hearth). It was built to provide affordable housing for the working-class residents of Amsterdam and now served as a perfect location for the EVICT conference!

Following the tour, we were pleased to hear presentations from our colleagues discussing the impact of the right to housing in the United Kingdom, chaired by Dr. Michelle Bruijn. Dr. Koldo Casla (University of Essex) opened the panel and discussed the right to housing and other socio-economic rights in the UK. Prof. Dr. Lisa Whitehouse, from the University of Southampton, then discussed the shift paradigms of property, contractual and human rights in mortgage repossession cases. Closing the session was Dr. Mark Jordan, from the University of Southampton, discussing his interesting research on the housing rights and the incorporation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Scotland, and the limits of devolution.

During the break there was enough time for a lovely lunch and for a visit to the gift shop (to buy socks with the epic Het Schip printed on them)!

Our final session of the conference focused on the impact of the right to housing in The Netherlands, chaired by Dr. Irene Visser. Jan de Vries from The Shift spoke to us about the definition of homelessness in the Netherlands and how the right to housing has moved to the forefront in Dutch politics. Dr. Michelle Bruijn (University of Groningen) then provided some comparative insights into the right to housing in squatting cases in the Netherlands and South Africa. Following this, we heard from Roos Wind from the University of Groningen who discussed the impact of the right to housing in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in the Netherlands. Finally, Stefan Van Tongeren, also from the University of Groningen, discussed Dutch ex-offenders’ right to housing needs.

After our wrap up speech from Prof. Dr. Michel Vols, and a few participants anxiously checking to make sure their flights were not cancelled due to the high winds at Schipol, the conference was called to a close!

We really enjoyed the event and getting to know all participants. There was lively discussion after each panel and a lot of new insights were gained. We would like to thank all participants for their time, energy, and for great conversations!

Written by

Emma Nic ShuibhnePhD Student

Iris SchepersPhD Student

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