Councils housed 30,600 refugees last year, Amsterdam trails rest


Dutch local authorities found permanent housing for 30,600 refugees with residency permits last year, up slightly on 2022, according to new justice ministry figures.

That means fewer refugees are now waiting for a home than were at the start of last year, the Volkskrant said in an analysis. In 2020, just 12,000 refugees were found a permanent place to live.

Every local authority is required to find housing for a certain number of refugees, based on their local populations and potential number of homes. In total, 91 of the 343 local authority areas last year met their target or almost did so. Most of the rest are well on their way to complying, the paper said.

The worst performer is Amsterdam, which still has to find homes for 1,360 people, according to the city’s 2023 quota. Rotterdam, by contrast, beat its target by 55 over the year, while The Hague missed out on meeting its quota by 106.

The number of people living in refugee centres because there is no permanent home for them reached 16,100 at the start of last year but had fallen to 15,368 by early January 2024.

However, some 49,000 people are still waiting for a formal decision on their asylum applications because of delays at the immigration service and the government expects that without additional measures that number will increase.

Some 9,000 refugees who have been waiting for a home for more than 14 weeks are now being placed in hotels close to where they will eventually live to free up space in refugee centres for new arrivals.

The Dutch local authorities organisation VNG has warned that the shortage of homes will only increase unless more housing is built.

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