Some sympathy for Idealis

Many students reacted outraged and emotional to housing cooperation Idealis who, as they and all housing corporations do every year, raised their rent with about 5€ a month. They accused Idealis for being insensitive to the corona crisis and its effect on students who now lost their job and are not able to pay their rents. But as much as you might want Idealis to understand your situation and act on that, maybe try to understand their position and find a solution that works for both.

An opinion piece (in reponse to this)


Just like some unsatisfied students, I also criticize the currently widespread believe that economies can grow year after year and that rents and wages alike need to increase, in order to uphold this illusion of infinite growth. Unfortunately, our current system works this way. Idealis too has to deal with yearly increasing costs to pay their workers a higher loan and higher service charges that they use in order to maintain our houses.

It would be beautiful if Idealis would choose not to be part of this system and would try to change it. But is this really their responsibility? There are many battles to fight and I think it’s better to choose a few and fight them successfully. I think Idealis chose to focus on providing excellent and personal service to their tenants, affordable prices and sustainable housing.

It would be beautiful if Idealis would choose not to be part of this system and try to change it. But is this really their responsibility?

I feel these are not just empty words, last year solar panels were installed on my roof. Idealis is extremely flexible to accommodate to different student needs. We are allowed to have chickens and pets, Idealis keeps an open dialogue listening to our needs and tries to provide a tailored service. When I called them for a small leak in my window, the next day it was fixed. Compare that to your average land lord!

I think Idealis chose to focus on providing excellent and personal service to their tenants

It is impossible to fight all battles at the same time. At an individual level it is hard to not buy a phone/computer that is made with minerals mined by children, it’s hard to eat sustainably, to have a small carbon print (when was the last time you took a plane?), to help out the elderly in your neighborhood, to make public spaces greener and also to make money to sustain yourself. You choose some battles that you can fight and stick to them and so does Idealis. I want to ask for a bit more understanding. Idealis is also affected by the corona crisis and is also part of a (capitalist) system that they did not create themselves.

In this corona crisis Idealis actively asks you to contact them if you have difficulties paying the rent due to the corona crisis. They sent a mail saying that they ‘would like to think along with you in order to come to a solution together’. Instead of criticizing Idealis and trying to fight the raise in rent, make use of this offer and try to solve the issue together.