Amsterdam is to build almost 1,000 temporary houses, with half allocated to refugees and half to students, Trouw reports. This is the first housing development of this scale in the country for refugees with a residency permit.
The housing, which is intended for use for a period of 10 years, will be constructed at four different locations throughout the city, mainly in Amsterdam’s eastern district.
Amsterdam’s ongoing housing shortage means that low-income groups like students and refugees find it difficult to rent in the city.
‘We do not have enough living space for both groups in Amsterdam,’ said a spokesperson for housing alderman Laurens Ivens. ‘So we are packing the two problems together. We believe that refugees will integrate in this way.’
A similar private development at Riekerhaven in the west of the city opens in July. The Riekerhaven complex will house 565 students and refugees, who otherwise may not be able to afford rent in Amsterdam.
‘I chose this first because of the price,’ student Maria Van Loosdrecht told DutchNews.nl. Maria is one of many students who will call Riekerhaven home from July onwards.
‘I was also really interested in the project and I think it’s really good that they’re trying to give status holders [recognised refugees] a place to settle themselves, and I’m really interested in being a part of that,’ she said.
With housing subsidies taken into account, a student renting a private studio apartment in Riekerhaven pays €333 per month. According to the University of Amsterdam, a student can usually expect to pay between €500 and €900 per month for a furnished room in the city.
Construction on the city’s new housing developments is expected to finish in June 2017.
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