Questions about the application and selection procedure

Who can apply for a place at Startblok?

  • Those between 18 and 27 years old.
  • Those subscribed to Woningnet or Studentenwoningweb (when you subscribe to Woningnet or Studentenwoningweb you build up waiting time. Your waiting time is not relevant to your application. You can still subscribe when you apply).
  • Those who are socially involved and are enthusiastic about the concept of Startblok.
  • Students (MBO/HBO/WO), working students or those looking for a job. Also, your income has to be less than € 35.739,- gross per year.
  • When you have been selected based on your motivation, an application and selection procedure will follow for Startblok. More information can be found here.

How can I apply for Startblok?

There are different ways depending on the situation you are in.

Option 1) Are you a status holder and living in the AZC at the moment? Please send us an e-mail. We will forward you to the municipality of Amsterdam, which selects all status holders for living at Startblok.

Option 2) Are you a status holder and living in the Netherlands in your own place? Or are you a foreign student? Then it is also possible to be selected in the same way as young people from the Netherlands.

  • Subscribe to our waiting list via Woningnet.nl. Please note the previous mentioned criteria.
  • At the moment all residents have been selected. There currently are no further informational meetings. As soon as a tenant(s) move out of Startblok, a new place will become available. Please regularly check Woningnet to see if there is availability.  
  • Once you have attended one of the informational meetings – where it will also be possible to view one of the houses – you will send us your motivational letter within a week.
  • Based on your motivation and application you will be assigned a place or not.
  • You can find more about the application and selection procedure here.

Can I bring somebody to the information meeting?

Rather come alone, because of the limited available space at the location of the information meeting. Also we would like to give a tour for everyone and answer the questions, this will be more difficult if there are more people. Would you still like to bring someone? First ask for permission, then we can see if there is space left over.

Why does Startblok have a selection procedure?

Startblok is meant for young people from the Netherlands and status holders who’ve recently received their residence permit. The focus of Startblok is to create social cohesion amongst those of mixed diversity and together, becoming a community. Also, we are looking for tenants who would like to contribute to the project by being actively involved and organize activities,  fulfil one of the jobs in the handyman team or work in the office. To fulfil our ambitions, we are looking for suitable tenants by selecting them based on their motivation. More information about this will be given to you upon application .

Questions about the rental agreement, finances and other things you have to arrange yourself.

Why is it obligatory to subscribe to Woningnet?

Startblok is only the beginning! After five years time, you’ll need to be able to move to another place. To be able to get a new place and be selected for social housing by the Municipality of Amsterdam, you need to build up waiting time at Woningnet or Studentenwoningweb (only for students) are compulsory.

You do not need to arrange this straight away. Just make sure you have subscribed before you sign the rental contract to be eligible for Startblok.

For how long can I live in Startblok?

You can live at Startblok for a maximum of five years. After these five years your place is awarded to a new generation for their  chance to contribute to the Startblok community and gain knowledge and experience!

Is there a minimum stay?

There is no minimum stay. This means you can resign your rental contract at any time, taken into account the notice period.

What is the notice period?

The notice period of your rental contract is one month. You are also free to take a longer notice. Resigning your rent always happens via De Key.

What is included in the service costs?

The service costs include heating, electricity, water and internet.

Do I have to pay a security deposit ?

Yes. At the start of the renting period, you pay one month of rent extra (without service costs), which will be your security deposit. When you move out of Startblok and leave your living space undamaged, the security deposit will be returned to you (no rent will be calculated).

Additional costs to take into account

When signing your rental agreement, you will have to pay an one-time administration fee of €41,-.

When you rent a studio you will also have to contribute to the city tax for sewage purification and waste removal. You can apply for exemption from these costs because of your low income status but you will need to arrange this yourself. How to do this is mentioned in the letter you’ll receive with your first taxation bill from the municipality.

When you live in one of the apartments and rent a room, sewage and waste removal costs are included in the service costs and therefore the letter (De Key) will arrange any exemption you’re entitled to.

Is it possible to sublet my room when I, for example, would like to travel?

This is possible if you meet the requirements for subletting your room and report, in advance, to the office. You can do this by making a request in De Key and you  are responsible for finding a suitable subtenant. After you’ve made your request, an interview will take place between the keeper of administration (beheerder administratie), the tenant and the future subtenant. Your request always needs to be approved beforehand, because the subtenant also needs to support the principles and concept of Startblok.

Do I need to get contents Insurance?

Yes, your rental agreement prescribes that it is obligatory to get this insurance.

Can I get a housing allowance?

When you rent a room in one of the apartments, it is not possible to get a housing allowance because you share the apartment and its facilities with others.

When you rent a studio, it is then possible to apply for a housing allowance. More information about the requirements for applying for a housing allowance, can be found here.

An example:

The basic rent of the studio is €400,-, plus the service costs of €110,-. The accounting rental for a housing allowance is €409,-. This is the basic rent + 3 subsidiary service costs (€9,-). A tenant of 18 years or older with this rent, will receive a housing allowance of €117,- which makes the total rent €333,- per month.

Please note: all mentioned amounts are estimates. Small amendments may be made.

Questions about the living spaces

Which living spaces can I find at Startblok?

Startblok exists of 9 blocks with 102 rooms of 14m2 on average (spread out over the 3 and 4-room apartments) and 483 studio’s of ±23m2. More information about the living spaces can be found here

What about the Internet?

All living spaces contain Internet access. The studios have a wireless router connected to a wall outlet. With this router you get secured wireless access to the Internet.

The following router is recommended for use: TP-Link type TL-WR841N. You can order this online via the Paradigit or Wehkamp webstore for at least € 20,-.

The apartments have one wireless router which the tenant’s share. In each of the common area per living group, as well as the two outside areas, will have Wi-Fi as well. The capacity and speed of the Internet will depend on the differing amount of users and what they use the connection for.

Will there be a TV connection in my place?

No, there will not be a TV connection in the living spaces. TV can be watched via Digitenne van KPN. You need to arrange and pay for this yourself. Satellite dishes are not allowed.

Will the living spaces be furnished?

No, they will not be furnished, nor will they be painted. The tenants will have to arrange this themselves.

Am I allowed to paint the walls or drill in the walls?

Yes, you are allowed to paint your walls, but only inside your living space (your room, shared living room and bathroom in the apartments). You are not allowed to paint the window frames, the cabinets or the doors. You are free to paint the walls any colour you like, but the next tenant must be able to paint over the walls in one coat with another colour.

When you move out, you need to make sure the living space is clean and empty before you leave. This will be checked at the end of the renting period. When something is broken during your stay, you need to report this immediately via De Key, so this element can be fixed or replaced. Do not wait with reporting damage or until you have your check up. The costs of reparations to damage you caused yourself and have not been repaired, will be taken from your security deposit.

Am I allowed to live together with my partner at Startblok?

No, you are not allowed to share an apartment with your partner.

Can I choose my own place?

283 young people from the Netherlands and 282 status holders will live at Startblok. Our goal is to build a community, where social cohesion is the primary objective. To fulfil this ambition we do not let future tenants choose where they want to live, and instead appoint a place. You can make your preferences known for the kind of place you would like to live: a  studio or a room. This way we make sure all the target groups are spread out evenly through the project and contain the diversity of each living group.

Am I allowed to bring/keep pets?

No, pets are not allowed at Startblok. We do not consider the small living spaces suitable for keeping domestic animals.

Where am I allowed to smoke?

You are only allowed to smoke outdoors or inside your own living space with the door closed. Your neighbours are not to be disturbed by it. This means you cannot smoke in staircases, hallways or any other of the shared common spaces.

Questions about self-management and self organization

What can I do at Startblok?

Are you selected as one of the new tenants and have you signed a Memorandum of Understanding? Congratulations!

There will be a lot of opportunities to organize activities or events yourself. You can read more about this here. An overview of all activities will be posted under News/Activities.

How do I apply for a job with the self-management team?

At the moment there are no vacancies. But make sure to check our website every once in a while. Also, feel free to send an open application to us! We are always open for exploring possibilities. Please note: one of the requirements for responding to this vacancy is that you are selected as one of the tenants of Startblok.  

What fees do self-managers earn?

When you have a function as a projectmaker (social manager), a technisch beheerder (maintenance manager), beheerder huurzaken (administration manager) or beheerder PR, communicatie en maatschappelijke invulling (manager PR, communication and social involvement) your wages will be between €9,- to €11,- gross per hour, depending on your age. The handyman team and the terrain team will receive a similar amount per hour, while the hallway managers will receive a set payment each month.

Would you like to start a committee, organize an activity or become a Buddy? These activities are on voluntary basis. This means you will not receive a payment. Of course we’ll support you, and besides our help, you will be part of a great experience and make lasting friendships in return!

Am I obligated to set up activities at Startblok?

No you are not, but we do look for tenants who want to be socially and actively involved! We’d love if a number of tenants would like to organize activities and events themselves, but this does not have to be everybody. We do however request from you, a proactive and open attitude to your surroundings and others!

Questions and about living together with young people from the Netherlands.

What kinds of backgrounds do young people from the Netherlands have?

Young people from the Netherlands are between the same ages, as status holders (18 to 27). They study, have a job or are looking for a job. Most of them have already lived independently by themselves. In the Netherlands it is normal for young people, around the age of 18, to move from home when they finish high school, and go to university or college.

Most of the time they move to student dorms in the city, for example to Amsterdam, where they continue their  education.. Once moved they start their ‘living space career’ as we call it. This means that during their life, they develop ‘space-wise’ and move to bigger and more private spaces to live. The Startblok community offers means to help students, job seekers and young people with a job, towards  the rest of their future and help make their first moves on the labor market. We call them: starters.

The young tenants from the Netherlands are also selected because of their wishes to build on their future and their willingness to contribute to the community. For most of them it is an opportunity to find out what they want to do in the future and gain more skills and knowledge in order to reach this goal. The skills and knowledge they bring can be very different: they might have studied languages,  , economics or engineering or work as coiffures or lawyers. Also, because of years of immigration, people in the Netherlands have very different and diverse roots. The Netherlands is a  multicultural society.

Young people from the Netherlands might have a lot of different backgrounds, but because of their wishes they have a common goal with status holders: building a future together!

Do young people from the Netherlands have to be selected as well?

Yes, they have to visit informational meetings and send us their motivation for living at Startblok. They will be selected based on this  motivation and interests. We do this ourselves, in order to fulfill our main ambition: creating a community where social cohesion is priority. This way, we can make sure diversity within the groups remain.

Socius Wonen has undertaken the first selection of tenants n the future this will be done by the beheerder huurzaken (administration manager).

Where do young people from the Netherlands come from?

Future young tenants of Startblok can come from all around the Netherlands, people from the surroundings of Startblok and others from Amsterdam. Due to years of immigration from different places in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, the Netherlands consists of a  multicultural society.

Do religion, sexual preferences or cultural background matter when I move to Startblok?

No. In the Netherlands all religions, sexual preferences and cultural backgrounds are accepted and tolerated by law and society. Discrimination, exclusion or bullying because of differences in religion, cultural backgrounds or sexual preferences will not be tolerated  and might even lead to losing your place at Startblok. If you ever experience prejudice  or feel troubled by someone’s behavior, please notify self-management so we can help you.

What kind of languages do young people from the Netherlands speak?

In the Netherlands the main language is Dutch. Also, since primary school, they are taught English, which means most of the young people from the Netherlands are able to communicate in English quite well.

During high school there is also the opportunity to learn how to speak German, French or sometimes Spanish. Furthermore, due to our multicultural society, there are many people speaking other languages.

The main language at Startblok is Dutch but most information will also be provided in English.

Do status holders get professional guidance?

Yes, status holders will get professional guidance from VluchtelingenWerk Nederland (Dutch Refugee Councellation) during their first 3,5 years at Startblok. Also, to prepare them for their new life in Amsterdam, status holders will follow a language and orientation program four days a week, during the first three months of their stay at Startblok. This program is specially meant for status holders. After the language and orientation program, status holders will follow an integration course.

Will we get a lot of help from young people from the Netherlands in finding our way?

If you want to, you can sign up for the Buddy project! You will be paired up with a young tenant from the Netherlands who will help you to find your way and with whom you share a common goal. Together you work towards this goal. More about the Buddy project you can read here.

Also, most people will be happy to help with any daily issues when you ask them. Within your living group you will probably be able to find support or ask questions. Furthermore, your group manager is available for answering questions, as is the office.

Finally, there will be a lot of activities and  events organized that will help you with arranging things, such as how to apply for jobs or a tour through the neighbourhood. You are also free to arrange such activities yourself and if you have a good idea, please let us know and send us an email.

What languages do status holders speak?

A majority of  status holders speak English, but there are others that only  speak moderate English and sometimes just their mother  tongue. Status holders come from different areas, so there will be a diversity of languages spoken, such as Arabic languages, Tigrinya and French.

At Startblok status holders are encouraged  to learn Dutch and eventually will mainly use this language. Young people from the Netherlands can help status holders by trying to speak as much Dutch as possible. The communication at Startblok will eventually be mainly Dutch as well.

Do certain rules apply only for young people from the Netherlands, or only for status holders at Startblok?

No, at Startblok the same rules apply to  everybody. This also means that everybody is responsible for managing and taking care that Startblok will become and remain a joyful and safe place to live. Status Holders will also be given an equal opportunity in maintaining and keeping Startblok just like the young people from the Netherlands, for example as self-managers, hallway keepers etc.

Questions about the letter and initiators of Startblok

What is the role of De Key?

Housing foundation De Key is the owner of Startblok Riekerhaven; it is their housing project. Therefore you will receive your rental agreement from De Key and pay the rent to them. De Key is responsible for developing Startblok and will remain involved behind the scenes, during the project’s  execution. As a tenant you won’t have much contact with De Key. Only when large incidents  take place will they get involved. Socius, De Key and the Municipality of Amsterdam work together closely behind the scenes of Startblok.

What is the role of the Municipality of Amsterdam?

The Municipality of Amsterdam is partially responsible for making possible the foundation of Startblok. Also, the municipality has a major role in the developing of the project and the recruitment and guidance of the status holders.

Press

For questions regarding  press, press material and  other questions regarding communication & PR or partnerships, please contact pr@startblokriekerhaven.nl.

A communication team was composed  especially for this project by the Municipality of Amsterdam and De Key. Questions from the press will be answered by the self-management team if possible,  otherwise they will be forwarded to het communication team of Startblok.

“Het ontwerp van de gebouwen en het buitenterrein is er sterk op gericht het contact tussen mensen te bevorderen.”

Isabel (24), panellid

 Word bewoner van het Startblok