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Councils to get more powers to ban troublemakers

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch local authorities are to be given more powers to ban people with a criminal background from moving to specific areas, according to draft legislation sent for review by housing minister Stef Blok on Monday.

In addition, the legislation will make it possible to evict people with extremist views from difficult neighbourhoods.

‘The law can also be used to refuse potential tenants who are known to have recruited people for extremist organisations in the past,’ the housing ministry states. ‘This can prevent radicalisation or terrorist activities taking place.’

Councils will be able to check on people’s backgrounds by accessing police information or making a certificate of good behaviour (vog) compulsory, the ministry statement said. Screening will go back four years.

Efforts by Blok to introduce similar legislation in 2013 were dismissed by the advisory body Council of State which said they were too far-reaching. This time round, Blok plans to allow councils to block tenants on a street by street basis.

Rotterdam city council has been able to ban people from moving to certain parts of the city since 2005 on the grounds of their income. The aim is to stop low-income families dominating some areas.


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