Amsterdam cuts many urgent housing requests from high priority list
Amsterdam simply does not have enough homes to house all its vulnerable residents. The city, therefore, made the "painful" decision that those temporarily living with someone else no longer qualify for "urgent" housing, alderman Jakob Wedemeijer (SP) told Trouw.
Every year, Amsterdam has about 1,800 homes available for vulnerable residents - about 2,000 too few. By disqualifying people living with a family member or friend, the city is cutting the urgent housing requests by 70 percent, according to the newspaper.
Wedemeijer called this a "very painful measure" that keeps him up at night. "But only in this way can we guarantee that the scarce housing ends up with those who really need it most."
The new rule does not apply to families with children. "No children on the street. That is a strict rule in Amsterdam," Wedemeijer said. Other people who want an exemption must prove that their situation is "life-threatening."
Amsterdam is also looking at other solutions for housing for vulnerable residents. The city is considering building temporary housing, accommodation in hotels, and potentially converting offices into shelters at night. "This can help people who are on the street but can manage during the day," the alderman said.
The number of urgent home seekers is increasing in Amsterdam, also affecting other home seekers who qualify for social housing. A quarter of social housing homes went to vulnerable groups in the past years. According to Wedemeijer, the national government needs to do more because these groups are in danger of being "played off against each other."