Only half of social tenants who are unemployed but unable to work have registered with the VDAB, although this has been mandatory since this year. Het Laatste Nieuws wrote this on Monday. For the first time, fines have now been issued for this, which can amount to 5,000 euros.
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Since January 1, all social tenants who are not retired or disabled must register with the Flemish labor service VDAB. In concrete terms, this concerns 33,000 or one in five social tenants who do not have a job, but can work.
New figures from Flemish Housing Minister Matthias Diependaele (N-VA) now show that not everyone felt called to actually report to the VDAB: almost half of that group, or 14,400 social tenants, did not register .
Already 22 fines
Stubborn refusers will not go unpunished, Diependaele warns. In the meantime, 22 social tenants have already received a fine in the mail. Initially this is a modest amount, but if the person concerned continues to evade the registration obligation, the fine can rise up to 5,000 euros.
In total, more than a thousand files are currently being examined. That number will only increase in the coming weeks, because the period for completing registration with VDAB expires. What is excluded is that tenants will be evicted from their social housing. It is hoped that the fines will be motivating enough to follow the law, Diependaele said.