Nearly half of Dutch councils provide no refugee accommodation


Almost half the Netherlands’ 342 local authorities have not provided any accommodation for asylum seekers in the past 12 years, RTL Nieuws said on Tuesday. 

In total, 162 councils, including some of the richest in the country, have done nothing to provide either permanent or temporary housing via the COA refugee settlement agency, RTL said. 

Eighteen months ago, when RTL first carried out the research, 194 councils had not provided any housing for asylum seekers. 

The publication coincides with the second day of debate in the senate about plans to give the government the power to spread refugees more fairly around the country, depending on the size of the local population and its wealth. 

“We have an accommodation crisis and it is very important that the law is passed,” COA spokesman Edward Ernst said. The senate will vote next week on the legislation, which was narrowly passed in the lower house last year. 

The four parties currently in negotiations on forming a new government are all opposed to the plan.

Towns that provide no accommodation include the seaside resort of Zandvoort, the leafy Haarlem suburb of Heemstede, Bloemendaal – one of the richest towns in the country – and Dordrecht. 

Bible belt towns such as Staphorst and Urk have also failed to respond to appeals for help. RTL said after the first survey in 2022 that Bible belt towns are less likely to have provided any housing for asylum seekers. 

Most of the 32 councils that did not offer any accommodation 18 months ago are now offering some form of emergency accommodation, RTL said. 

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation