Payment in kind

In The Hague, the Netherlands, there is an apartment building for college students which has been built by a high school. College students can pay the rent in kind. In return for a flat, the renters has to teach classes at the high school which owns the building, for eight hours a week. Apparently this was a very attractive deal, since in no time 20 out of 26 flats were occupied within no time.

This initiative is quite inspirational. And we should wonder whether this model could be generalized. We can easily imagine that cities could require that people who rent publicly owned homes, to perform eight hours of community service. This could include anything from taking care of the elderly to cleaning up the neighbourhood to helping at sport clubs.

Linking public housing with community service will increase social capital and strengthen civil society. Of course, it is important that renters will have a range of different types of services to choose from.

4 thoughts on “Payment in kind”

  1. It really is a great idea. Should and could be used in so many different life situations besides the renting one. I think the organizing of it would be the hard part.
    I would gladly do this or that for someone in return for something that was needed. And I am sure we do this on a small scale already.

    1. >>Should and could be used in so many different life situations besides the renting one.

      Yes, it could. Though housing is something virtually all people need, hence it would be a first choice. But we could, for instance, assign parking lots in a similar way.

      >>I think the organizing of it would be the hard part.

      Yes, it would be. Therefore it might be a good idea to start with one or a few projects – such as the one I mentioned in this post.

      >>I would gladly do this or that for someone in return for something that was needed.

      You’re a good person. But I already know that. Me too would happily to some community service if it would help me to pay for my apartment.

      >>And I am sure we do this on a small scale already.

      On a too small scale, if you would ask me.

    1. I don’t know whether this is actually a really novel idea – I guess similar projects should exist elsewhere. However, it are such out-of-the-box ideas that will help to further social progress.

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