Ciska Hoet focuses on infinity. Today: Home made.
It is not a popular opinion in this Belgian country, but as far as I am concerned it is fine to rent a home. The advantage is that you can create a home without the worries that come with ownership. Moreover, I do not see why it would be stupider to give my money to a private individual than to contribute to wars, environmental pollution and exploitation through a bank loan for twenty-five years. However, thanks to a policy that has been targeting homeowners for decades, buying feels like the safest option, especially in combination with the prospect of a small pension. The follower in me therefore changed tack and for the past year and a half my love and I have been the proud owners of a shipyard in which a lot of overtime is worked.
Perhaps that context plays a role in the fact that I Home made one of the most sadistic reality productions. VTM buys three shacks that are completely renovated by two young couples each. At the end of the journey, only one duo will become the owner of the property. You read that right: one chance in six in exchange for working hard every minute of your free time for a year, while the whole of Flanders is enjoying the fact that you cannot enjoy yourself because you are creaking from fatigue.
Perverse housing market
Although the makers indicate via drone shots that the viewing days produced a rush of possible builders, the attentive viewer noticed that the turnout was rather modest. VTM may trumpet that it is ‘giving away a free dream house’, but I am clearly not the only one Home made thinks it’s a bad deal. The fact that candidates show up at all is not only due to the notorious brick in our stomach. The main responsible is the perverse housing market with sky-high prices and policymakers who consistently refuse to invest in social housing or other affordable options for the less purchasing power among us.
In that light, it is extra sad to see how the couples are selected in true reality style on the basis of their television quirks instead of, say, renovation expertise. While the viewer may chuckle at their bizarre love of animals or limited building skills, I wonder how much the makers are doing Home made earn and what kind of houses they live in. The deal that Dina Tersago and co. locks, must certainly be much better than that of the participants.
Of course you can argue that the candidates know what they are getting into. Furthermore, they may reason that they have nothing to lose and apparently many people enjoy being on TV. But for one couple there is indeed something at stake. The cheerful Ana and Enis are not only the only thirty-somethings in the group, they are also the only parents. Their three children sleep together in a small room in their apartment. The warmth that radiates from the family is directly proportional to their limited resources. And now they spend their weekends in a dirty yard instead of with their offspring in the hope of offering them more comfort. If this couple gets the house at the end of the day, I will be upset Home made to be able to bite just a little bit better.
Home made, Tuesday and Thursday on VTM