Finance

Less pressure on the housing market due to fast housing for temporary residents

Frank van Gool already came into contact with labor migrants in the late 1990s, and was one of the first to have Polish employees work in his vegetable packaging company through temporary employment agencies. Van Gool saw how hard these people worked and were needed in certain sectors, but he also saw how poorly everything was arranged for them in the Netherlands via the employment agencies. Van Gool: “I thought that there must be room for improvement. And with that in mind, I started OTTO Work Force in 2000, together with two co-founders, an employment agency specialized in international job placement in Europe.”

screaming deficit

A few years ago, Van Gool sold his shares in OTTO Work Force, and with the money released he started a new company with Karolina Swoboda: KaFra Housing. With this company he develops innovative and flexible housing concepts for migrant workers, but also students or status holders, for example. Van Gool: “Actually again from the idea that this had to be done better than usually happened. There is a crying shortage of housing for these groups of people, in addition to the enormous housing shortage that already exists. Politicians are still doing too little about it and employers hardly take any responsibility in this regard. With KaFra Housing we can contribute very concretely and quickly to a solution to this problem.”

Flexible, durable and fast

Van Gool’s last completed project is the KaFra Tower in Venray, where mainly migrant workers live. The living concept is unique in that all residents have their own bedroom and that working and living are decoupled here. This means that residents do not have to leave their homes immediately when they lose their job. A significant improvement in living comfort and quality of life. The houses are also made prefab and flexible, so they are extremely sustainable. All homes are also gasless, well insulated, equipped with solar panels and fully furnished. Finally, the speed with which the homes can be delivered is exceptional. Van Gool: “There were only nine months between the first talks with the municipality of Venray and the moment the first home was moved into.”

Welfare officer

Both for OTTO Work Force and for KaFra Housing, Van Gool always puts the people behind the employees first. “Everyone in the Netherlands has the right to a decent place to live, regardless of whether you are a migrant worker, status holder or student or are temporarily without a home for any other reason. Everyone should be able to feel at home here.” Van Gool hopes to contribute to this by placing a in every residential complex of KaFra Housing welfare officer to set. Van Gool: “This is actually a caretaker who does much more than replace a light or mow the lawn. This welfare officers help new residents find their way around the area and are the first point of contact for both residents and local residents.”

Switch quickly

Van Gool has been a satisfied customer of Rabobank for a long time and is particularly pleased that the bank, like himself, has the willingness and courage to act quickly. Van Gool: “The lines are short, which means we can switch really quickly, which is different at other banks. I was afraid that this would change the moment they centralized and I could no longer go to my regional bank, but nothing could be further from the truth. They really think and fight to get something done.”

Insight and reflection

His tip for other entrepreneurs is to always reflect well, on yourself but also with your team. “Define goals, record them, make them measurable and regularly take the time to see whether you are still on the right track and focusing on the right things. If you don’t consciously make time for this, you quickly lose sight of your initial goals and you go along with the issues of the day.” Furthermore, Van Gool always ensures that he has insight into the finances of his companies: “If someone asks me about it, I want to know exactly how things are going, that gives a sense of control and ensures that you are not faced with unpleasant surprises. .”

Rabobank is a cooperative bank that believes in the power of collaboration. This means that in addition to their financial resources, they also like to use their knowledge and network to help entrepreneurs further. Go to the website to see what Rabobank can do for your company.

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