Asylum seekers may lose social housing priority status

Stef Blok (Photo: Commons)Stef Blok (Photo: Commons)

Minister Stef Blok of Housing submitted a legislative proposal in which asylum seekers will no longer automatically be given priority in the social housing market, Het Parool reports.

The proposal is currently with the Council of State. If the Council approves it, it still has to go through the Tweede Kamer, lower house of Dutch parliament, and Eerste Kamer, Dutch Senate.

Currently municipalities who make use of a so-called urgency regulation, which gives the elderly and disabled people priority with social housing, must also give priority to asylum seekers with a residency permit. If Blok's proposal is accepted, these municipalities will be able to decide for themselves whether or not to give asylum seekers priority.

The government wants to make sure that asylum seekers with a residency permit are transferred out of asylum centers without this negatively affecting other house hunters.