Slow progress on finding homes for EU labour migrants

The Netherlands is making slow progress in organising up to 31,000 places for labour migrants from central and eastern Europe to live over the next five years, housing minister Stef Blok said in a briefing to parliament on Tuesday.

Some local councils, investors and employers are finding it difficult to take steps to ensure proper provision of accommodation because of resistance from locals, the minister said in the briefing.

In some cases, it would also appear that councils themselves are dragging their feet, Blok said. In the district of Holland Rijnland, which includes Leiden, ‘it would appear the councils want the benefits of labour migration but don’t want to carry the costs,’ Blok said.

In addition, parts of northern Noord-Holland have not made any agreements because of fears that locals will object. Eindhoven and Rotterdam are also worrying, he said.

Blok instigated a formal process to ensure proper housing is provided for people moving temporarily to the Netherlands following concerns about sub-standard accommodation and rip-off landlords.