MPs propose bill allowing orphaned children to stay in parents' rental homes
More MPs want to allow orphaned children to remain in their parents’ rental home. Coalition parties VVD and ChristenUnie, along with opposition parties GroenLinks and BoerBurgerBeweging (BBB), proposed a bill that would allow children who have lost their parents to continue residing in their parents' rental homes until they reach the age of 28.
Housing corporations currently can extend rental contracts indefinitely for relatives, but they are not obligated to do so. To prevent the eviction of orphans, who, according to the initiators, "all too often end up in homeless shelters," they are introducing the Rent Protection for Orphans Act.
According to VVD MP Daniel Koerhuis, there have been instances in recent years where housing corporations have evicted children following the death of their parents. "Because of these heartbreaking reports, I started fighting for these children,” Koerhuis said. He added that he believes the current non-binding guidelines, which housing corporations can choose to follow or not, are insufficient.
"Becoming an orphan is already intensely sad,” CU MP Pieter Grinwis said. “I find it inconceivable that during such a difficult and emotionally difficult period, children can be forced to leave the safe environment of their own home and sometimes even find themselves homeless on the streets."
GroenLinks and BBB agree with that. BBB leader Caroline van der Plas considers it regrettable that legislation is required, stating, "despite all the grief, it appears that some corporations need a legal obligation to ensure basic humanity."
The MPs acknowledged that the numbers are not high. Every year in the Netherlands, an average of 205 young people between the ages of 16 and 30 experience the loss of both parents. Amongst them, an average of 82 children reside in a housing corporation home at the time of their parents' death.