Proposal: Polish workers can live in abandoned buildings

Monday,  May 14, 2012

EINDHOVEN- The 21 municipalities of the Eindhoven Regional Government (Samenwerkingsverband Regio Eindhoven-SRE) have advanced plans to house Eastern European workers in empty offices or other abandoned buildings. This would be a solution to tackle the outstanding housing problems.  An agreement will soon be signed.

In the field of SRE, there are an estimated ten thousand workers from Poland and other Eastern European countries. These workers live mainly in horticultural towns such as Gemert-Bakel, Deurne and Someren.The agricultural sector calls for a great demand for East Europeans workers, but housing is a problem. Growers have in some cases allow workers to stay on their land or even in their  own houses.French Stienen, Municipal councillor in Helmond and chairman of the committee, believes that in many cases, this undesirable situation exists because the Eastern Europeans are very dependent on their employers. “We have identified 3 different groups of workers: for seasonal workers whom only stay for six or eight weeks, staying on the farm is a viable solution. The second group of workers is those who would like to settle here with their families.  These workers should be allowed right to ordinary housing.  In discussion here, are those workers who will only be staying for a few months.”For these workers, the SRE, in collaboration with employers and intermediaries, will create special housing in vacant buildings. Which buildings these will be, Stienen would not comment on as not to prevent unrest. “But in the region there are quite a few empty offices that might be suitable.”This plan receives approval from Polish workers. A spokesman for the Polish consulte in the Netherlands says it better to find places to stay for these as it will help to overcome dependency on their employers.Source: Omroep Brabant


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