foto Peter Hilz (C)

Evictions for social tenants with properties abroad

The City of Antwerp is prosecuting 13 social housing tenants because they own a property abroad.  In all some 40 tenants are under investigation.  It's thought they own one or more properties abroad and as a result don't qualify for social housing.

Antwerp also intends to evict tenants found to be ignoring the rules.  They will also be asked to repay monies that they pocketed fraudulently.

One individual was found to own 14 properties in Morocco including houses and land. Fraudsters will be obliged to repay the social discount that they received on their rent.  This can be a sizeable amount.  In one case 48,000 euros is being demanded.

Alderman for social affairs Fons Duchateau says it's a coincidence the news broke just before the local elections: "I started on this in September of last year, but the socialists, greens and Christian democrats tried to delay my action."

Mr Fons Duchateau notes he's not just fighting fraud but freeing up social housing.