Of the 10,637 applications for rental assistance submitted to the authorities in Flanders in 2017, 5,281 denied, according to figures provided by the region’s Minister of Housing, Liesbeth Homans (New Flemish Alliance, N-VA) at the request of parliamentarian Marc Hendrickx, also from the N-VA. “The insufficient quality of the housing for which the assistance is requested constitutes the reason for the denials in 20% of the cases,” Hendrickx said.
Rental subsidies are given to people who leave a home that is too small or unhealthy for better quality accomodation, as long as they are registered on a waiting list for social housing. In the north of the country, such assistance represents about one-third of the rent.
Last year’s tally of 10,637 applications for rental assistance is a record. However, close to half the applications were rejected.
“The fact that one in every five denials is justified by the fact that the new housing accommodation does not comply with the standards is worrying,” Hendrickx said. “It’s important for the local authorities to take up their responsibilities. The housing needs to be rechecked and brought back to the required standards,” he stressed.