Amsterdam - The Airbnb city - (VPRO documentary - 2016)

Amsterdam – The Airbnb city – (VPRO documentary – 2016)

What influence does the rapidly growing share economy giant Airbnb have on the social structure of a city like Amsterdam?
Airbnb’s motto: Share your home, make new friends and get rich sleeping. Those who can afford it buy an apartment in Amsterdam, hire a cleaner and rent it out to tourists all year round via Airbnb. No bank or share gives a better return on investment. What is left of a city like Amsterdam when many of its residents only stay there for a few days? A portrait of Amsterdam at the time of Airbnb, with happy tourists, rude abusers, perfect hosts, victims and snitches.

Original title: Slapend rijk

Airbnb places billboard campaigns with texts such as ‘Earn extra money by sharing your home in Amsterdam’.
Become part of the new sharing economy: Share your house, earn money and make new friends. There is still a world to win for Airbnb: so many people who do not see the market value of their own home, so many thieves of their own wallets. a lot of people already place their bedrooms for rent while they go on holiday. It provides money for the washing machine that you can not afford, you meet new people and it prevents the construction of new hotels. Airbnb quickly became more lucrative than anyone could have predicted.

This has far-reaching consequences: in the heart of Amsterdam, housing prices are rising by an average of 100,000 euros. Those who still can afford to buy an apartment hire a hosting company and rent it out to tourists. No bank or share gives a better return on investment. Chinese and Russians blindly buy Amsterdam studios purely as an investment. Who has money can make money.

In a city where the discussion about tourism, gentrification and the balance between rich and poor is getting more and more urgent, the increasing leasing calls to tourists. In the Haarlemmerbuurt in Amsterdam, retailers and residents try to turn the tide by making an inventory of homes that are used for illegal holiday rentals and the municipality is fighting against illegal occupation.

Homeowners call in a specialized detective agency to determine illegal rental of social housing. This is how the worst excesses are tackled, but ultimately the real question is: who really owns the city? And how we, together, want it to look like in the future. Because what remains of a city actually, when many of its residents only stay there for a few days?

With, among others: Sander Schimmelpenninck (journalist Quote), Pam de Sterke (owner), Lieza Röben & Jorden Raijmakers (landlords), Richard Brand (tenant), Teunkie van der Sluis (Platform Haarlemmerbuurt), Stefan van Kappel (detective Van Kappel Security Solutions), Dirk Minnebo (hosting agency Iambnb) and Team enforcement of illegal hotels from the municipality of Amsterdam.
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2016.
© VPRO Backlight September 2016

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Director: Sabine Lubbe Bakker
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.

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Amsterdam – The Airbnb city – (VPRO documentary – 2016)

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