Netherlands: Parents threatened with eviction if their children don't stop causing trouble

Netherlands: Parents threatened with eviction if their children don't stop causing trouble

The Moroccan community in Culemborg was upset about the 'yellow card' that the Kleurrijk Wonen company gave out to several Moroccan families in the neighborhood of Terweijde.  The families were threatened with eviction because their children were causing trouble.

The company later retracted its letter, for the time being.

The letter was sent to a dozen Moroccan families.  In response the Moroccan community decided to postpone any talks with the company as well as the municipality and the police, said F. Azarkan of the local Moroccan representative organization.  "The letter must first be taken off the table," he said on Thursday morning.  He said that the letter had gone out without any discussion with them and that that's not the way it should be.

"It would have been better if we had first spoken with the Moroccan community about that letter," according to Jaap van Dam, director of Kleurrijk Wonen.

"The Moroccan families who got the letter from KleurrijkWonen yesterday, will get a new letter tomorrow saying that the 'threat letter' could be put aside.  that means that the yellow cans can for now be cancelled," according to Van Dam.

Van Dam does say, though, that they'll be put in force after discussions with the local Moroccan community, and that they'll be enforced.  "Whoever says A, must also say B, no matter how painful it is."

The letter said that children from Moroccan families were involved in causing trouble.  "You have received a yellow card, because your child is causing trouble in the neighborhood.  As a renter you are responsible for the behavior of your co-renters, in this case your children.  This letter is the last warning." The letter said that they would next get a red card which could lead to rental contract being terminated and to eviction. 

"KleurrijkWonen is sending these cards in consultation with the police and the municipality.  From now on we'll exchange information about neighborhood residents.  If we than conclude that you or your family members are causing problems, you'll get a yellow card.  Your child is then no longer known only to the police, but to all involved parties in Culemborg."

The letter also listed what "causing trouble" includes: spitting on people, cursing, throwing stones at windows, setting fire to cars, theft and intimidation.

The Mollucan families in the problem neighborhood did not receive a letter.

Mollucan and Moroccan youth in the Terweijde neighborhood have been at odds with each other for years.  In  January the unrest escalated and the police called in the riot police to restore the quiet.  There's an emergency order and on assembly ban.

Van Dam confirms that the letters were sent with the knowledge of mayor  R. van Schelven.  "We forgot to consult the representatives of the Moroccan community beforehand.  That's a shame." He added that they'll now invite them to discussions. 

When asked about it Azarkan said that they won't have any talks until the yellow cards are retracted.  He says the threats of eviction were very unsettling.  "People are concerned.  This letter feeds the distrust towards the government."  He says that's painful because they were working together to deal the trouble-making.

Source: Reformatorisch Dagblad, Telegraaf (Dutch)

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