Advocaat wants to build a hundred small houses for the homeless and students

Advocaat wants to build a hundred small houses for the homeless and students
Advocaat wants to build a hundred small houses for the homeless and students

Lawyer Peter Schouten from Breda has a wild plan to tackle the housing crisis. He wants to build a hundred small houses in Tilburg for asylum seekers, students and the homeless. Because the need is great and it can happen to anyone: “If you end up on the street today and you don’t have a buffer, then there is simply nothing to be found.” A chance meeting brought him to Tilburg with his plan.

Schouten gets the inspiration for his building plan from abroad. He refers to a website that shows simple, small container homes, with just enough space for two beds and shelves to store things. He is now traveling and visiting the factory where the houses are made. In the photo they are stacked behind him and they are easy to screw together.

A house for one person costs more than 7250 euros, for two people more than 10,000. Showering and eating are in common areas. Schouten: “People of all kinds of nationalities cook in a shared kitchen. This is possible for themselves, but they can also offer the food to others. There will be a vegetable garden and students can give extra lessons to asylum seekers. It will be a thriving community. I call it ‘Lizzzy Village’.”

‘Very interesting’
It is actually a coincidence that Schouten ends up in Tilburg with his plan. He met mayor Theo Weterings at the Omroep Brabant talk show KRAAK and afterwards they talked about his plans. According to Schouten, Weterings called it ‘very interesting’: “He said: ‘Come to Tilburg soon to explain it’.”

Weterings’ spokesperson confirms that the two have spoken about this and that the mayor is open to a discussion. According to the spokesperson, Weterings cannot yet say anything about the feasibility of the plans and whether it is suitable for Tilburg.

Schouten was a lawyer for star witness Nabil B. and good friends with crime reporter Peter R. de Vries. But in Breda he is best known for his commitment to the homeless. Schouten is upset about the way the homeless are treated in the city. He committed himself to Thomas, who was expelled from the shelter because he was too critical, and arranged alternative shelter.

Sleep in a car
Schouten is still indignant about it: “This shows that there is simply nothing there!” He sees it happening around him: “There are more and more economic homeless people. They sleep in their car, with their legs raised.” Schouten sees asylum seekers sleeping together in a hall and students who are forced to live with their parents. He wants to give them a place in the new Tilburg community.

He also wants to accommodate addicted homeless people there: “If they use it, it is outside, because where else? And they don’t go up in thin air, do they? If they’re in a house, have stability and people looking after them, it’s just better.”

Right mix
Schouten is still struggling with the right mix. He wants to divide the single and two-person houses among thirty students, sixty status holders, thirty homeless people (five of whom have an addiction) and twenty people in debt restructuring.

The plan costs about two million, which must be paid by investors. “I offer them a healthy return. It’s not charity.”

There is no location yet: “Because I spoke to Weterings about it, I am now focusing on Tilburg. But I am immediately signing up for every municipality that wants the hundred homes. I am busy solving problems. Why would such a Theo Weterings can’t do that?”

READ ALSO: Criticism of homeless shelter in Breda: ‘People are put on the street too quickly’

The article is in Dutch


Tags: Advocaat build small houses homeless students


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