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18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

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15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

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7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Homeless to be inspected

17 juni 2006 – Fourteen hundred homeless people who receive social assistance should prepare themselves for unexpected inspections. The municipality says that these visits are not only intended to detect fraud, but also to offer help. There has been a lot of debate about similar inspections among social assistance recipients who do have a home.

The homeless will be visited both on the streets and in shelters. The municipality wants to make sure that they do not illegitimately receive social assistance and to see whether they cannot find work. In addition, information will be given about services they may be entitled to.

During the past months, there has been a lot of debate about the house visits to social assistance recipients who do have a home. The city council questioned alderman Ahmed Aboutaleb about complaints regarding intimidating and humiliating behaviour of inspectors.

A number of social assistance recipients have gone to court because they claim that the inspections have been carried out in an unlawful way. Complaints have also been filed with the city ombudsman, which initiated an investigation. A report will be published later this month.

Aboutaleb sees the inspections as an effective means to fight social assistance abuse. Twenty seven million euro would have been earned in benefits that were terminated as a result of the inspections. The inspections cost 13.5 million euro.

Critics point out that some of the benefits later turn out to have been terminated incorrectly. Also, it is likely that some of the social assistance abuse would have been detected without home visits. All in all, there are doubts whether the inspections are really cost effective.

Aboutaleb did promise to send all social assistance recipients a brochure describing their rights and obligations. Untill recently, these brochures were handed out when the inspectors were already standing at the doorstep of the person they were visiting.

For the inspections among the homeless, a special brochure has been written, which will be handed out during the inspections. In addition, information will be distributed among shelters.

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