Latest news about Andrými’s rent status
(This text was written and puclished on the 11th of may 2020)
Dear friends and supporters of Andrými,
Like many of you, Andrými has been struggling to pay its rent in the light of COVID-19 gathering bans and restrictions.
The space depends on individual donations to pay its rent. The number of on-line donations has halved since March, and because of the gathering restrictions we have not been able to host any events where we would typically get cash donations. The number of individual donations dropped from 41 to 22 in March and while we received 107.000 ISK in donations in March (including fundraising events) it was only 67.000 ISK in April, and even less now in May. We have still tried to make the space as accessible as possible while respecting the restrictions, as we believe that community spaces are essential and people do not magically become less needy when everything is ordered to close. The popular “Free Supermarket” on Wednesdays is one such new event.
We reached out to our landlord, the city, to ask for our rent (100.000 ISK/month) to be waived as we had barely had any income. The city refused our proposal and said the only option was to postpone the rent payments for a few months, likely from March until the end of June, i.e. the same option as given to businesses renting from the city. It looks like the city has no guidelines for community spaces or NGOs struggling to pay their rent as they have not responded to our request for such guidelines.
Andrými is not a company and makes no profit. The space is run entirely by volunteers and the rent is paid by individual donations. At the same time, it provides important community services and resources not available for free elsewhere in Reykjavík: a bike workshop, feminist self-defense classes, free space to hold events, a library, access to a printer, washer, internet etc. Most of the space’s supporters and users are low-income folks, students, immigrants, and generally people in vulnerable situations who have themselves been disproportionately affected by the current unemployment crisis.
We will update this information if anything changes for Andrými. If we did not have to pay the city rent (1.200.000 ISK/year) we would be able to invest the majority of the donations into making the space wheelchair-accessible as well as more substantial maintenance of the building.
Thank you for all your support and we hope to see you again soon!
If you would like to support Andrými:
account no. 0133-26-012275