Asylum Seekers vs. Native Dutch: Who Gets the Housing?

The following video features interviews with two members of the Dutch parliament who have contrasting views on the public housing crisis in the Netherlands. The first is Freek Jansen of the FVD (Forum for Democracy, Forum Voor Democratie); the second is Daniel Koerhuis of the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Volkspartij Voor Vrijheid En Democratie).

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   Mr. Jansen, you asked a question of [Migration] Minister [Anneke] Broekers-Knol about
00:04   the requirement that within six months,
00:07   11,000 asylum status holders must receive housing.
00:10   That is quite a number. What are the questions? What is amiss?
00:16   Yes, that’s right. We submitted the question last week. We — I saw a report
00:20   posted last week, 11,000 asylum seekers somehow have to get social rental housing
00:25   at a time when the need for housing has never been so high as it is now —
00:29   not in decades; 100,000 people are waiting for a residence,
00:33   a social [for low income] rental residence, while every year, however, another
00:37   10,000 asylum seekers are housed through
00:41   this attempt by the VVD state secretary. We’ll find from the questions asked,
00:45   how many residences are involved?
00:49   How many Dutch people get no residence? What are the implications from all that is happening here?
00:53   But there are status holders who have the right to stay here, so they must also have a place to live.
00:58   Yes, that is, naturally, the result of the policy, which is probably true of the Syrians.
01:02   But we don’t know [unintelligible], and one of the questions is — who are these people, really?
01:09   But the VVD has chosen not to send the Syrians back to Syria,
01:13   while Denmark, for example, has been doing so for a long time.
01:16   And then right now people in the Netherlands, after five years in temporary status,
01:21   automatically get a permanent residency permit. That is the result of the VVD’s open-door policy.
01:25   And then those people must live somewhere, but in the meantime, Dutch people are waiting
01:29   for a place to live. —What the VVD stands for is that there must be simple, temporary housing.
01:35   Uh, containers? —Well, those are flex [temporary] housing.
01:38   Those are no longer the containers from before.
01:41   When I myself was studying in Amsterdam-North, where I lived, student housing was placed
01:47   on the shores of IJ Lake, there were containers…
01:52   You have different levels. I think for status holders, they make it a bit more austere.
01:57   You have to start life in the Netherlands.
02:01   How does that then relate to people who are on the list for a residence, the Dutch?
02:07   I think that relates very well, because the people waiting for a social rental residence…
02:11   and I think that the status holders are not prioritized to bypass the people.
02:16   I think that the status-holders should go to simple, temporary housing,
02:20   so that the people on the waiting list for a social rental residence are not bypassed.
02:27   The housing you are talking about — is it available?
02:30   Yes, this housing is ready to be put together in factories.
02:36   I have made several working visits regarding this.
02:40   It is just looking for a location, and that is where it gets stuck.
02:43   That is where a lot of building discussions get stuck — locations.
02:47   Doesn’t expropriating farms just create more resistance?
02:51   Well, I don’t know if that is the best place for simple temporary housing for status-holders… Uh…
02:55   You yourself think that? —Yes, in general, somewhat on the edge of a village or town …
03:01   still within walking distance of services, for example.
03:07   How can that be resolved having all these complicated constructions with
03:10   a sort of terraced home and such? But it just comes down to the housing goes to status-holders.
03:14   And then you still have the housing shortage mounting. This is no solution.
03:19   They are not building. For years, too little has been built.
03:23   These people have no idea what they are doing.