Housing permits return to Rotterdam 'hot spots'

27th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — City officials plan to reintroduce housing permits to nine "hot spots" in Rotterdam in a bid to halt the spread of ghettos across the harbour city.

27 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — City officials plan to reintroduce housing permits to nine "hot spots" in Rotterdam in a bid to halt the spread of ghettos across the harbour city.

People will only be eligible to rent public sector accommodation in these areas from October if they meet requirements in relation to income and family size, Alderman Marco Pastors told newspaper Rotterdams Dagblad on Friday.

The City Council hopes the housing permit experiment will halt the spread of ghettoisation by preventing new low income residents settling in disadvantaged districts in the city centre and in Delfhaven, Charlois and Feijenoord.

New residents in these areas already face tougher vetting procedures than elsewhere in Rotterdam. The return of the housing permit goes a step further as residents who do not comply with its requirements could face eviction, the newspaper said.

Friday's announcement signals a significant policy shift because Rotterdam did away with the housing permit system about 18 months ago.

The experiment will apply to 8,000 rented homes, of which about 700 become vacant annually.

City officials want to enact an ordnance stating that people applying to rent homes for EUR 250-500 will have to earn 120 percent of the minimum wage.

People earning less will be offered cheaper accommodation in other parts of the city.

Under the housing permit scheme, eligibility for renting a specific home will depend on family size. From October onwards, the maximum number of tenants allowed in a two-room apartment will be three. Four people will be allowed to rent a three-bedroom apartment.

Single people will no longer be allowed to rent large homes with four rooms or more.

The City Council has yet to vote on the proposal, but the executive council made up of the Rotterdam mayor and aldermen and women hope that the housing permit will be part of their drive to revitalise rundown areas of the city.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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