Carla Huisman's homepage

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development Studies in the Research Group Urban Geographies. With Justus Uitermark, I study the case of Amsterdam-North in the international Municipalist Neighborhood Experiments project.

The defence of my PhD, unfortunately had to be postponed due to Corona but I was able to defend my PhD thesis entitled, "Insecure Tenure: The precarisation of rental housing in the Netherlands" on October 22nd 2020. The research was conducted at the Population Research Centre at the Department of Demography at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen. My supervisors were Clara Mulder and Louise Meijering.

Afterwards, I worked at the Housing Management Chair at MBE; the Department of Management in the Built Environment, at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University Delft as part of the Co-Lab research group. My last year there I spent on doing my NWA Idea Generator research, "A paradoxical idea: Stimulating integration through spatially concentrating refugees at the microlevel?".

I am a sociologist with a particular interest in social-spatial inequality, and a specialisation in the precarisation of the Dutch rental market, especially the introduction of temporary renting contracts. Below you can find my PhD thesis and some of my publications. Outside university I am chairwoman of the grassroots, volunteer-driven housing association Woningbouwvereniging Soweto.

For questions please don't hesitate to contact me at



PhD thesis

Insecure Tenure: The precarisation of rental housing in the Netherlands

ABSTRACT: Secure housing is important for people’s well-being. Uncertainty about if and when you will need to leave your home has a negative effect on ontological security, the psychological stability that people need to live a meaningful life. This thesis answers the question whether rental housing in the Netherlands, over the last twenty years, has become less secure. Several developments point to Dutch renting becoming precarious to a significant extent. The successive introductions of new temporary contract forms advances very quickly, as do the continuous steep rent increases and the increases of starting rents. Rules on security of tenure, rent ceilings and maintenance are in theory still strong, but in practice knowledge of these regulations is almost non-existent, and enforcement is so weak that the rules have become largely meaningless. Empirical evidence shows that the majority of young adults in Amsterdam has a temporary renting contract, as opposed to being an owner occupier. Until recently the strength of the Dutch rental sector was that it offered almost as much security as buying a house. However, this strength is now being rapidly eroded – and it will not be easy to reverse this situation once it is too late.

The thesis can be downloaded here.

In the Dutch press

Journal articles

Please see also my Google Scholar page.


  • ‘All Flex’ documentary on the precarisation of housing by Abel Heijkamp & Julij Borštnik, in which I also appear (2016).
  • Huisman, C.J. (2017) Book review of: Squatting in Britain 1945-1955. International Journal of Housing Policy 17(4) 611-613.
  • I was a panelist at the ‘Why should I trust you?’ seminar on the cooperation between researchers and communities, of the global Urban Lab of the TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture, 13 January 2020. A report is here.

- Last updated: 15th November 2023
- What does cypers mean? Cypers is Dutch for the tabby pattern of cats. Why is my website called Why not? See also