According to the 2011 Human Development Index Ranking compiled by the United Nations Development Program, human development (i.e. the standard of living and quality of life) in the Netherlands is one of the highest in the world. In terms of overall health, education and living standards, the Netherlands is ranked third worldwide and second in Europe. In addition, according to other research, the capital of the country, Amsterdam, is considered as a leading city in the production and maintenance of social housing. Social housing in the Netherlands is not directly run by the government but by cooperatives founded by churches or political parties.

Nevertheless, like everywhere else, homelessness is a problem also in the Netherlands. It is estimated that there are about 30,000 homeless people in the country.In absolute numbers, in the Netherlands, and mainly Amsterdam, there are more homeless people now than there were 15 years ago, and due to the changing economic circumstances their number is expected to increase further in the coming years.It is said that: “The increase in the number of homeless people in Amsterdam consists largely of mentally ill people who would have been admitted to a mental hospital 20 years ago and of older, long-term heroin abusers who can no longer live independently.”

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Latham & Watkins
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Housing Rights Watch