Amsterdam housing agency says ‘western cooking only’

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A housing agency in Amsterdam has said it will only rent out two of its apartments if the tenant cooks ‘western’ food, NOS reports.

When Maysaa Munaf, who has been in the Netherlands for a week, inquired about the apartments at Executive Home Rentals she was told tenants who ‘cook for hours using lots of herbs’ need not apply. ‘If you cook the ‘western way’ we can offer you a viewing on Friday,’ the email said.

Munaf shared screenshot of the offending letter on Facebook post titled ‘In today’s episode of ‘Racism is alive and well’.

‘I did not get what I was reading,’ she told RTL. ‘What is western cooking. Am I only allowed to eat sprouts?’ After sending a critical email back to the company, Munaf was told that the company did not mean to be racist, but just wanted to inform her about the situation.




It is not clear whether non-Western cooking is a requirement of the agency or the owners of the apartments.

Executive Home Rentals director Michel Rootring later told NOS that the apartments are sensitive to smell transfer. The flats are ‘not suitable for long sessions of cooking but the word ‘western’ was an extremely misfortunate choice of worlds,’ he said.

Earlier this month another Amsterdam housing agency came under fire for trying to rent out a 35 square metre apartment where cooking was banned altogether.