In principle people without a residence permit have the right to rent accommodation in the Netherlands. However you cannot rent a house if it requires a housing permit. Many undocumented migrants who rent are dependent on help from others and risk being exploited. Undocumented migrants are often excluded of receiving support from mainstream organisations.
For shelter, rejected asylum seekers can – under certain criteria – get a place for the maximum of 1.5 yrs. in the shelters of the Municipality (Programma Ongedocumenteerden, LVV). In the case of specific vulnerability, undocumented people that don’t fit the criteria, can get a temporary ‘emergency bed’.
Do I have access to the Municipal Shelter (Programma Ongedocumenteerden) in Amsterdam?
If you are a rejected asylum seeker and meet the criteria, or in case of specific vulnerability you can register at Amsterdams Centrum Ongedocumenteerden (ACO of Regiegroep Amsterdam), Houtmankade 334, opening hours Monday till Thursday from 10.00 until 12.00hrs. You will be put on the waiting list if there is no place available. Red Cross offers a special support program for people on the waiting list. Do ask for it.
If you have specific medical problems tell the ACO. they should register you for a GGD (Municipal Health Authority) medical screening. Make sure you have your medical documents with you to facilitate the process. (A GGD screening is possible for undocumented people that don’t fit the criteria of the Municipal Shelter as well.)
I am a refugee but I have a temporary Italian residence permit, can I enter the Municipal Shelter of Amsterdam?
If you have a (temporary or expired) residence permit from another European country and haven’t been to Ter Apel to register (and to be rejected) you cannot enter the shelter of the Municipality (Programma Ongedocumenteerden). You will only get shelter unless there is a specific vulnerability. Go to Wereldhuis, Stap Verder or AMOC (Regenbooggroep) for assistance, these organisations can help you to get a screening by the Municipal Health Authority (GGD).
I don’t have papers. Am I allowed to rent a room in Amsterdam?
You can rent accommodation, but not if a housing permit is required. If you have a rental contract this is legally binding. But, be careful about subletting – this is usually not allowed. (NB: the companies which supply energy, water, internet etc. do not request proof of identity, but they do ask to see a rental contract and require a bank account number).