Flanders wants to exclude undocumented migrants from rental market

Flemish Housing minister Matthias Diependaele (N-VA) wants to exclude undocumented migrants from the rental market. The issue of undocumented migrants has come to the fore again recently, as the perpetrator of Monday's terrorist attack in Brussels was undocumented.

Diependaele now wants to take steps to ensure that people without a national registration number will no longer be able to rent accommodation. ​ Today, a landlord is already obliged to register his contract with the national registration number of the tenant. If this is unavailable, the date and place of birth are sufficient. ​

Flanders wants the decree to stipulate that a valid residence permit is required. However, the registration database is a federal competence. "We have been advocating regionalisation for some time," says Diependaele. "At the moment, the database is not working properly."

We don't know how many people are involved

According to Diependaele, people who are in the country illegally put a lot of pressure on the private rental market. "We don't know how many people are involved. I heard figures this week of between 100,000 and 200,000 people living illegally. So you can see where a lot of the pressure on the rental market is coming from," he told Radio 1. Undocumented migrants are not eligible for social housing.

A recent Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) study shows an estimated 112,000 people live in Belgium without residence documents.

Diependaele has already sent a letter to the federal anti-fraud minister, Vincent Van Peteghem, who has not yet replied.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO TIMON RAMBOER

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