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Flemish ombudsman inundated with social housing complaints: "Improper what happened"

Many people renting a property via a social housing programme have been contacting the Flemish ombudsman lately, the person responsible for handling complaints. They are unhappy about the fact that their rent is going up, while they have only been notified very late. 

If you are renting a house under a social housing programme, you may have to pay more as from 1 January. This was decided by the Flemish government, but many tenants have only been informed over the past days about how much they will have to cough up exactly. 

Some tenants are facing price hikes of up to 50 percent. Ombudsman Bart Weekers finds it "improper" to inform people about such increases just a couple of days ahead. "Especially at a moment where many services are closed. Three months' earlier notice would have been better." 

The new rent takes into account 3 parameters

The prices for social housing were adapted under the previous Flemish government, by Housing Minister Liesbeth Homans (N-VA). She wanted to make the rates more transparent, taking into acount three parameters: the market value of the property, the family members' income and energy prices.

The present Housing Minister Matthias Diependaele (N-VA) does not want to allow a transition period. He argues that many housing companies have started informing tenants in time, and that for some people the rent will be lower as a result of the change.