This is what the ruling party D66 is proposing today when discussing the housing budget in the House of Representatives. The party wants to regulate by law that actions are possible if discrimination appears in the so-called ambiguous calls. The plan could count on the support of a large majority in the House of Representatives.
“The persistent poison of discrimination stands in the way of equal opportunity in the housing market. Many Dutch people of color or hard names know racism, every day again,” says D66 MP Faisal Polakgar.
Research using obscure calls, which was conducted by the Ministry of the Interior, shows that many brokers are willing to cooperate with discriminatory demand from realtors. They are then asked, for example, to search for tenants only of Dutch origin.
The Ministry of Interior is now grappling with the question of how to proceed with this investigation. It is legally difficult to use the results of ambiguous calls as a burden of proof in criminal proceedings or in a case before the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights.
The problem is that with mystery calls there is no real victim. These are dummy cases, intended to test brokers and landlords.
To solve the problem, MP D66 Polakgar now wants to regulate in the Good Property Act that search results with obscure calls can be used to punish estate agents and landlords. This law is currently being prepared.
This law gives municipalities the option to require brokers and landlords in certain parts of the city to obtain a permit. If they are guilty of discrimination and no longer improve their lives, under the D66 plan, this permit can be revoked and thus the estate agent and landlord penalized. It will also then be possible to refuse a permit for landlords and brokers who have misbehaved in the past.
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