| This Dutch Landlord Will Cut Rent For Tenants Who Help Refugees

February 22, 2018

Home is truly where the heart is for this Dutch landlord.

The Trudo housing corporation in southern Netherlands is offering a 100 euro discount on rent for any tenants who help refugees resettle, according to the Guardian. To receive the cut, tenants need to spend 10 hours a week helping new migrants navigate Dutch bureaucracy and settle into the neighborhood.

“We want to find someone in the housing complex who can help [refugees] feel at home in the neighborhood,” director Thom Aussems told Dutch news outlet Omroep Brabant. “And let them know the customs of our country.”

The Dutch residents would assist new arrivals with anything from how to take out the garbage, to navigating schooling and social security paperwork, according to the Guardian. But the initiative is not just about helping refugees settle — it’s also about reducing tensions with local residents.

Over the last year, the Netherlands has experienced a rise in anti-refugee sentiment, including protests against asylum-seekers, a rise in popularity of anti-immigrant parties, and a right-wing leader calling for male refugees to be locked up.   

This project hopes to combat the tensions with a dose of human connection:

“Tensions occur when people don’t know each other, can’t understand each other or can’t communicate,” Aussems told the Guardian. “If you give people the opportunity to connect with each other and work together, it’s a lot more effective.”

For Trudo’s average tenant, the 100 euro discount will represent almost 25 percent off regular rent, according to the Independent — a substantial discount.

The idea for the program arose from a similar, earlier initiative, which gave students rent cuts in exchange for mentoring school kids, according to Dutch News. Through the program, they were able to help around 350 children.

Trudo currently houses 85 refugees, reports the Independent, and the corporation aims to take in twice that number next year.

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