Wednesday 15 July 2020

Arnhem gets tough on flat-sharing for seasonal workers after complaints

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Arnhem city council is working on plans to stop groups of seasonal workers sharing a house by revising its rules on sub-dividing homes.

The council plans to introduce a licence system for flat or house-sharers, and these will not be granted if the property is to be lived in by ‘temporary workers’, the draft new rules show.

The plan targets seasonal workers who often live in overcrowded conditions and in properties provided by their staffing agency or employer.

‘Accommodation in the form of lodgings… has a major impact on the surroundings,’ the council document states. ‘Workers stay, rather than live, in them and on a temporary basis. They have little contact with their neighbours and… all have a car, which leads to increased pressure on parking… Experience also shows that there are often conflicting life styles.’

The rules will not apply to properties lived in by international students, and will not affect properties currently lived in by groups of at least three temporary workers, a council spokesman told DutchNews.nl.

In addition, the spokesman said the rules are unlikely to impact on highly skilled migrants or expats because ‘they have more to spend and opt for an apartment or other form of housing’.

The city is working on other plans to house seasonal workers, the spokesman said.

Coronavirus

Housing for seasonal workers is a hot topic at the moment, given the outbreaks of coronavirus in meat processing plants where hundreds of ‘migrants’ work.

Officials think the way in which seasonal workers live – often in cramped accommodation provided by the employment agency – may contribute to the spread of the virus, because social distancing is often impossible.

Amsterdam, The Hague, Eindhoven and Rotterdam have all recently tightened up their rules for flat-sharing but have not gone so far as to refuse to licence properties lived in by seasonal or temporary workers.

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