January 23, 2014

Housing corp charges top dollar for slums in Amsterdam

Filed under: Architecture,General by Branko Collin @ 11:19 pm

jeruzalem-amsterdam-google-street-viewThe Rochdale housing corporation is using a legal loophole to charge top rents for slums in the Jeruzalem neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Parool reports.

The houses in question have a floor area of only 32 square metres and lack both central heating and insulated glazing. Until two years ago these were rent-controlled houses for which a tenant would pay 300 euro a month. But the neighbourhood was designated a monument in 2010—the first neighbourhood built since World War II to receive that status in Amsterdam—and the law allows a corporation to add 50 points to the points system that determines whether a property is rent-controlled or not.

Rochdale now charges at least 712 euro for the houses on the free market. The corporation admitted to Parool that “the houses are indeed in a bad state,” and added that it needed to generate more income.

This is not the first time Rochdale made headlines. In 2009 it fired CEO Hubert Möllenkamp who had been living the life of an Italian renaissance prince, using the company credit card for private expenses, driving around Amsterdam in a company Maserati with blue license plates for taxis (meaning he could drive where other people aren’t allowed), accepting bribes and, according to Rochdale, improving his own pension plan.

(Illustration: Google Street View)

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September 4, 2010

Wikimedia’s September photo hunt for monuments

Filed under: History,Photography by Branko Collin @ 12:48 pm

During September the Dutch Wikimedia chapter (the people behind Wikipedia) are calling upon everybody to send in correctly licensed photos of official national monuments, so that Wikipedia can use the uploads.

The Wiki Loves Monuments site has posted a very long list of the monuments, divided by province and town, and tagged with the exact geographic location, so that participants who would like to take fresh photos can easily plot a hike through their neighbourhood.

There is a competition attached to the event, with an iPad being the first prize, and an HTC Desire the second. You have until September 30 to upload your photos, and you don’t have to limit yourself to photos taken this month.

An earlier similar and very successful event was called Wiki Loves Art, and was held in June 2009, resulting in about 5,000 Creative Commons licensed photos. That the current edition is held in September is no accident, as the Open Monuments Day on September 11 gives a lot of access to (the inside of) monuments that are closed the rest of the year.

(Link: Wikimedia.org. Photo by Wikimedia user PVT Pauline, some rights reserved.)

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