EGMR: Referral to the Grand Chamber accepted in the case of Garib v. the Netherlands („Wohnsitzauflage“ bei Sozialleistungsbezug)

EGMR: Referral to the Grand Chamber accepted in the case of Garib v. the Netherlands („Wohnsitzauflage“ bei Sozialleistungsbezug)

13. September 2016 by Klaus Kohnen

The following case has been referred to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR: Garib v. the Netherlands (application no. 43494/09) – concerning the complaint by a woman living on social welfare about residential restrictions in a district of Rotterdam as a result of which she was unable to freely choose her place of residence.

The applicant, Rohiniedevie Garib, is a Netherlands national who was born in 1971. She is a single mother of two whose sole source of income is social welfare.

Ms Garib settled in the Tarwewijk district of Rotterdam in 2005, having previously lived elsewhere. She was asked by the owner of the property which she was renting to vacate the place, as he wished to renovate it for his own use. He offered to let to her another property in the same area, to which she agreed, given that the new flat was bigger and more suitable for her and her two young children.

In the meantime, the Tarwewijk district of Rotterdam – an area of high unemployment – had been designated under the Inner City Problems (Special Measures) Act as an area in which taking up new residence was only possible with a housing permit. Ms Garib duly lodged a request for such a permit in March 2007. Her request was refused by the authorities on the grounds that she had not been a resident in the Rotterdam Metropolitan Region for the six years immediately preceding the introduction of her request. Moreover, since her income was not from work, she did not meet the income requirement that would have qualified her for an exemption from the length-of-residence requirement ...

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