VVD: Asylum seekers should be happy with whatever they get

Prime Minister Mark Rutte visiting refugees in the emergency shelter in Haarlem, Sept 21, 2015 (Picture: Facebook/Minister-president). (Prime Minister Mark Rutte visiting refugees in the emergency shelter in Haarlem, Sept 21, 2015 (Picture: Facebook/Minister-president))

Those seeking asylum in the Netherlands should have no access to the current collection of rent-controlled social housing on the market, VVD parliamentarian Roald van der Linde told the AD. “Refugees that come from a warzone must be happy with whatever they get,” he firmly stated.

He said it doesn't matter if they are placed in empty office buildings, other vacant real estate, or apartment blocks made from stacked sea containers, similar to what is used for some student housing in the Netherlands.

“I realize that this sounds very unfriendly but things are getting out of hand,” he said, adding that “we will make sure that it is safe and warm.” Plans for the relocation of asylum seekers to vacant offices, nursing homes and stacked containers generally has the support of the VVD, he told the newspaper.

The left wing coalition partner, PvdA (Labour) did not speak as harshly as their right-wing colleagues. "We cannot give one's residency, and they then are not offered a roof over their heads," PvdA member Albert de Vries told RTL Nieuws in response.

The VVD is prioritizing their concern for Netherlands residents already on a waiting list for social housing, as people are likely to be pushed down the list to make way for those granted refugee status.

Van der Linde has also called upon housing corporations to address the improper use of rental housing to free up space. He said that 58 percent of social housing supply has gone to “tenants who earn more than the provisional income allowed to qualify for social housing," according to the NRC. He also called into question illegal sublets of social housing, which affects ten to 20 percent of supply, he claimed.

While not showing support for the Labor Party’s initiative to build 100 thousand temporary houses, the VVD believes that it will ultimately win support from the PvdA, reported AD.