4.6 Access to quality services
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In December 2015 a bill was submitted to the House of Representatives by the minister of Security and Justice (in English). The bill ‘doorstroming huurmarkt’ (movement in rental housing market) (only in Dutch) extends the possibility for temporary tenancy agreements.
The Rent law (only in Dutch) first had provisions only for elderly people, disabled people and students. This new bill extends the scope with new tenancy agreements for PhD students, large families and young people. This bill (only in Dutch) has been accepted by the House of Representatives.
There is also a special top-level measurement (only in Dutch) for young people who are not able to live on their own. The target groups are:
- Young people under the age of 18 with no fixed abode.
- Young people who return to their own community after having stayed in youth care (for instance following a placement in care).
- Young people with mental disabilities.
In February 2016 a new Law (only in Dutch) entered into force that makes it possible for young people between 18 and 23 years to get a temporary tenancy agreement for a maximum of five years (with a possibility of two years extension). During this tenancy period young people will continue to be on the list of people seeking housing, which will increase their opportunity to get subsequent housing. The Netherlands Youth Institute (only in Dutch) presents a few examples of municipalities implementing this law. One of them is the municipality of Veenendaal which has a promotion fund for realizing affordable youth housing. It finances the subsidies of the Starters arrangement for initiatives. Recently an initiative was subsidized for building new houses for young people with autism, so they can have their own living rooms. For more examples, please visit the Netherlands Youth Institute website.
On 23 February 2016, the Team Tackling Youth unemployment (only in Dutch) invited 20 young people to come up with ideas to develop measures against discrimination of young migrants. Team Tackling Youth unemployment will use the ideas of these young people in their measures.
Young people between 18 and 23 years old can get financial assistance for rent payment. This is called the huurtoeslag (extra rent allowance) (only in Dutch). This can be applied for when:
- The person lives together with a partner or co-occupant who also claims the financial assistance .
- The minimum rent is € 226,98 and the maximum is € 389,05 a month.
- The collective income is not more than € 29,325 a year.
The Youth Act outlines the following about youth care. The care and support for children and young people is no longer part of the health care assurance. All treatments of children and young people up to 18 years are paid for by the municipality in which they live.
In the report of the Ombudsman for Children (only in Dutch) the Ombudsman points out that the access to youth care is not optimal. Most of the times children and their parents do not have any idea where they can get help. Or they have to wait too long for help and meanwhile the problems get worse.
For counselling and psychological services children and young people can approach the Kindertelefoon (Children’s phone) (only in Dutch). They can use the on-line forum to find an answer to their question, but they can also talk over the phone with a volunteer or professional.
The Dutch government pays attention to the debt position of young people. The State Secretary of the ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in 2015 wrote in a Kamerbrief (letter to Parliament) (only in Dutch) that in the year before more than half of young people (18-27 years) were in debt. The policy of the government on access to credits is making young people more aware of the risks. It is precautionary and informative. Young people in a vulnerable position form a target group, but students are also at risk. They can get easy access to student loans. The State Secretary tries to make these students aware of the risks involved in high loans during their college years.
In 2016 the minister of Housing and the Central Government Sector (in English) writes in a Letter to Parliament (only in Dutch) that an evaluation of the ‘Doorstroming Huurmarkt’ Act will take place after five years. No information has been found for other inclusive services. However, please see paragraph 3.2 Policy monitoring and evaluation for more information.
The Ombudsman has an important role in monitoring the rights of children in the Netherlands. As you can read above the recently published report describes the observations.
Since the beginning of 2015, all Dutch municipalities are responsible for the whole range of care for children, young people and families in need of support and assistance. The transition relates to all types of services, including mental health provisions. The municipalities now manage a wide range of services for children and families, ranging from universal and preventive services to specialized - both voluntary and compulsory - care for children and young people from birth to 18 years of age.
The ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport and Security and Justice commissioned the evaluation of the Youth Act. ZonMw will guide the evaluation.
The evaluation will be conducted by a consortium existing of NIVEL, The Netherlands Institute for Social Research, Netherlands Youth institute, the Legal Faculty of the University of Leiden, and Foundation Alexander.