Local councils get tough on ‘Polish houses’, restrict labour migrant numbers

Polish flag with coat of arms

Photo: Wikipedia

Several local councils across the Netherlands are bringing in local laws to restrict the number of Eastern Europeans living in certain residential areas, Trouw reported on Tuesday.

Maasdriel in Gelderland, Zuidplas in Zuid-Holland plus Zaltbommel and nearby Tiel are among the places which want to keep residential areas ‘liveable’ by limiting the number of foreign workers, the paper says.

In Tiel, for example, the town council wants to restrict the number of ‘labour migrants’ living in one house to four and plans to limit the number of ‘Polish houses’ on a street by street basis.

Many Eastern Europeans move to the region to be close to the horticultural industry in Westland or to work at Schiphol airport, the paper said. In some cases, employers buy up cheap property to house their seasonal workers.

But officials in the affected towns say they have to deal with an increasing number of complaints about noise from overcrowded houses and streets which are full of cars with Polish and Romanian number plates.


‘We now know that 3,000 to 4,000 Easterns Europeans live in Tiel. That is 10% of the total population,’ council official Erik van Keken told the paper.

Some 120,000 people from Poland live and work in the Netherlands, according to figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Johan van der Craats from the housing agency Flexwonen told Trouw that the demand for labour is increasing and councils have no alternative to offer people who come to the Netherlands to work in seasonal industries.

‘If one council gets tough, the problem moves elsewhere,’ he said.

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