At the Joan Muyskenweg 32 in Amsterdam, a group of roughly 40 refugees without documents are currently living together. Most people in the group are originally from Ethiopia and Eritrea. They are a part of the refugee collective ‘We Are Here’. This group consists of refugees who have gotten lost within the current system. None of them have received residence permits but at the same time, they are not able to return to their home country either. For food, medical care, education and housing, this group is solely dependent on private initiatives.
The building the group is living in will probably be demolished some time in the future. However, on the 19th of April, the owner of the building (also owner of Bouwmaat Amsterdam BV) signed a contract with Stichting Noodzaak, to allow the use of the building for a two year period. After the contract was signed, we started building extra rooms of 21 and 42m2, which will be rented as studios or workshops.
A wing of more than 400m2 of office and studio space is shared by the tenants. The other three wings are inhabited by the group of refugees. A communal room of 40m2 is being built, which will be used by both tenants as well as the inhabitants. You will find more information about the leased spaces in this Dutch document: atelier- en werkruimte te huur Amsterdam Oost