Thursday, 22 January 2015 - 16:38
Rental market tough as refugees pile in
More than a quarter of Dutch municipalities are facing problems in providing housing for the people who want to live there. There will be more refugees to the Netherlands and the result is that waiting time for anyone on a waiting list will increase, according to a survey of 326 municipalities. The questionnaire, created by regional broadcasters and NOS, could not get 67 additional municipalities to take part. Last year there were over 25,000 asylum seekers to the Netherlands which is 10,000 more than the year before. Most of them come from Syria, Eritrea and Somalia and many of them may stay for humanitarian reasons and must be placed from refugee centers in to ordinary housing. There is an increasing pressure on social rental market, hardly any apartment turnover, housing corporations are selling some of their inventory and fewer rental houses are being built, says Aedes, the national association of housing corporations in the Netherlands. In the town of Hulst, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen region, there are 300 people waiting for an apartment and the waiting time for social housing in Almere is more than six years. Other municipalities say that there are no houses because the current residents are staying in, or because most of the residents are homeowners. During the first half of 2014 the municipalities had to accommodate 6,500 refugees and they served over 91 percent of the asylum seekers. In the first half of 2015, the municipalities must temporarily accommodate 14,000 residence permit holders, who are staying in the Netherlands.