After you have received your residence permit, COA will connect you to a municipality in the Netherlands within 2 weeks. They will try to take into account where you work, study and what your family situation is like. The housing cooperation within the municipality will look for the right house for you.
⇒ You will first be put on a waiting list for people that wait for an accommodation in the municipality. Sometimes you will get a bit of priority from the municipality when you have a status holder. The municipality can decide this themselves if they do this or not.
⇒ You only get one offer for a house. When this is a suiting offer you have to accept it. Do you not accept this? Then you will lose your priority on the waiting list. You will have to leave COA within two weeks. You can register again on the housing list but you will be put at the bottom of the list again. In practice, this means that there will be no house for you. You risk ending up on the street.
More information about housing for newcomers
You can find more information on this website of the Dutch government.
Can I choose my municipality?
No, in most cases you cannot. Statusholders will be spread over the Netherlands. However, COA will try give you a house near the AZC that you have stayed in. In a conversation with COA you can tell which municipality you would like to live in. It is not always possible to get a house in this municipality. Sometimes you will get an accommodation more far away.
There are some exceptions. In the following cases you can try to ask for a connection with a municipality of your choice:
⇒ When you have family in the first degree (parents, children) who live there
⇒ When you study in the municipality. This is only valid when you have a regular study, no language- or integration courses. You need to show a registration form from DUO.
⇒ When you work in the municipality. This means you have a payed job for a minimum of 8 hours per week, with an employment contract.
⇒ When you need important medical treatments in a municipality that cannot be done somewhere else.
Can I change my municipality?
No, but there are a few exceptions. Sometimes something changes during the time that you wait for an accommodation in the municipality you are connected to. When you go study, find a job or receive important medical treatments in another municipality, tell this to COA. COA will look for possibilities to find an accommodation more close to your work, study or hospital.
Tips for Stadskoppeling, where you will live
⇒ Talk directly to COA about the possibilities
⇒ Make sure you have as many facts and forms as possible to show why you should get an accommodation in a certain municipality (for example: family, study, (volunteer) work, important medical treatments or chances for a job in a certain municipality).
⇒ A voluntary job with a contract is NOT a guarantee for a change of municipality, but it could raise the chances for a change. More evidence for integration in a certain city/municipality will raise your chances for a change in connection!
⇒ Ask a Dutch friend or volunteer for help! You can always ask for help through the Facebook group Refugees the Netherlands Nijmegen.