Access to social housing could soon become more difficult for Moroccans living in Belgium, at least if the Call of the Mouvement Réformateur (MR) to tighten access conditions is heeded.
In addition to income, not having a home abroad is one of the conditions for obtaining social housing, but an investigation carried out between March 2021 and December 2022 by the Flemish minister of Housing shows that there is a lot of housing fraud. Of the 677 studies carried out, 322 (or 48%) “demonstrated the existence of a foreign property”, reports La Dernière Heure. In detail, the researchers determined that 295 people own real estate in Morocco, 243 in Turkey and 68 in Italy.
These are worrying figures according to member of parliament Yves Evrard (MR). “These figures should worry us,” said the MP in a question to Walloon housing minister Christophe Collignon, in the Local Government Committee. “In Wallonia we do not know these figures and we have the impression that we would rather not know. In our country, only a declaration on Honor is required when applying for social housing. That raises questions, because that’s where it ends. And that can ultimately be at the expense of people who really need it.”
The people’s representative wonders “whether there would not be something to say for a more intensive fight against social housing fraud that ultimately disadvantages the many candidate tenants?”After all, more than 40,000 families are waiting for social housing, and that would be a step forward in terms of social justice. “This is an unacceptable situation for the balance of the rental market and access to social housing for those who are entitled to it,” continues Evrard. He calls for a better alignment between the needs of precarious families and the number of existing social housing.
His party wants to adopt the Flemish model, “where it is no longer allowed to apply for social housing if one has a high sum of savings” (a person with more than 25,580 euros of savings or 40,940 euros for a couple or a single person with a child). In addition, “the way in which social housing is allocated would have to be updated, which could free up some of it,” explains Yves Evrard. In Wallonia, only an honorary declaration is required for the application and that is not enough. “I think there should be a more regular analysis, for example every five years, and that statement should not remain valid for ten years either, because the risk is not zero.”