February 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Tougher rules for social tenants: compulsory registration as a job seeker with VDAB and better language skills | Instagram VTM News

From January 1, social tenants must register as job seekers with VDAB, VTM News. In this way, the Flemish government wants to make sure that they find work (or better work) and so they eventually end up on the private rental market. At the same time also a way to make room in the social rental market. In addition, they are also required to update their knowledge of the Dutch language. Social tenants who refuse to follow the stricter rules risk fines of up to €5,000.

look. The Flemish government imposes stricter requirements for tenants of social housing. Tenants risk fines of up to €5,000. This is what Flemish Minister Matthias Dibendaele tells VTM News.

The Flemish government will tighten conditions for social tenants. From January 1, 2023, as a social tenant, you are required to register yourself as a job seeker with the VDAB. “Social rent is not only a social service by and for the Flemish people, but also a story of rights and obligations,” says Flemish Minister of Housing Matthias Dipnelli (N-VA).

The obligation applies to social tenants who currently occupy social housing and to new social tenants. In the coming days, all concerned tenants – a total of 100,000 – will receive a letter notifying them. They have three months to work on it. From April 1, housing companies will screen tenants. If they fail to comply and refuse to register repeatedly, they risk an administrative fine of up to €5,000.

Better knowledge of the language

According to the Flemish government, the language level of the social tenants must also be improved. From January 1, the government will raise the Dutch language proficiency requirement to the A2 level. Tenants have two years of social housing allocation to reach this level. Tenants will have to pay for the language courses themselves. The government no longer interferes with the costs of this. Here too, fines for non-compliance can reach €5,000.

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Tightening must ensure that people return to the private rental market and make room for others in need. According to the government, the new rules could also contribute to an increase in the employment rate and a smoother integration into society. “The new and heightened commitment we are imposing is not a judgment, but should contribute to the emancipation of the social tenant,” says Dipendaile.

Overview. Stricter rules for social tenants from January 1, 2023

– Is mandatory Register as a job seeker in VDAB

Language knowledge requirements from Dutch is withdrawn to level A2

– quick quiz to test language knowledge disappears, Only the recognized certificate remains blank

– Flemish The government no longer pays the costs for a Dutch language course

Fines of up to 5,000 euros For tenants who frequently refuse to register and who do not speak enough Dutch

In recent years, the Flemish government has become much stricter with regard to social tenants. For example, since March 2021, the government has been checking whether Social tenants have real estate abroad, because they are then ineligible for social housing. From October 1, 2023 there will also be Higher “fines” for social tenants who live in spacious spaces.

The government is taking these steps to “ensure that scarce social housing is used optimally”. At the end of October, Flemish Housing Minister Matthias Depanelli (N-VA) stated that 182,000 families are on the waiting list, but only after an average of 3.5 to 4 years have they been allocated social housing.

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The opposition has already responded on several occasions by denouncing the current Flemish government’s housing policy. According to them, the government should do more to create places in the social rental market rather than just introducing stricter rules. “The minister likes to be tough on social tenants, but he doesn’t address the real problem,” Maxime Wiese, the Flemish MP for Voroet, told our editors in October.