Accommodation for Newcomers in Flanders

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Immigration Accommodation in Flanders Canada

As a new immigrant arriving in Flanders one of the first tasks is to find short term and long-term accommodation in Flanders for you and your family.

Your first accommodation on arriving in Flanders may be temporary. This is ok, and is the route that most new migration arrivals in Flanders take. Some individuals opt of a good hostel or Serviced Accommodation in Flanders, while some are lucky enough to be able to stay with family or friends in the area. Most new arrivals take a short-term rental while they look for something long term. As with any city, it’s always easier to find someplace new to live once you are already there and Flanders is no different.

Accommodation for newcomers in Flanders Canada guide

You’ve been through the stress and emotional roller coaster involved with securing a visa for Canada and you’ve chosen Flanders as your destination. It’s a charming place with plenty or heritage. Flanders is well known to be extremely welcoming to new migrants.

Here is some background on Flanders for new immigration arrivals.

Flanders (, US: /ˈflæn-/; Dutch: Vlaanderen [ˈvlaːndərə(n)] (About this soundlisten); French: Flandre [flɑ̃dʁ]; German: Flandern [ˈflandɐn]) is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics, and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is the City of Brussels, although the Brussels-Capital Region has an independent regional government. The government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels, such as Flemish culture and education.

Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population (68.2%) if Brussels is included. 7,797,611 out of 11,431,406 Belgian inhabitants live in Flanders or the bilingual Brussels region. Only about 8% of Brussels inhabitants identify as Flemish, while the rest identify as French-speaking. Not including Brussels, there are five present-day Flemish provinces.

In medieval contexts, the original “County of Flanders” stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there. This county also still corresponds roughly with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands. Although this original meaning is still relevant, in modern times the term “Flanders” came to refer to a larger area, and is used to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the “Flemish Community” (Dutch: Vlaamse Gemeenschap) and the “Flemish Region” (Dutch: Vlaams Gewest). These entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not.

The area of today’s Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Bruges of the historic County of Flanders, and later Antwerp of the Duchy of Brabant made it one of the richest and most urbanised parts of Europe, trading, and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export. As a consequence, a very sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy. Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th-century industrial revolution, but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, and due to massive national investments in port infrastructure, Flanders’ economy modernised rapidly, and today Flanders and Brussels are much wealthier than Wallonia. They are among the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world.

Geographically, Flanders is mainly flat, and has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a density of 483/km2 (1,250/sq mi). It touches the French department of Nord to the southwest near the coast, and borders the Dutch provinces of Zeeland, North Brabant and Limburg to the north and east, and the Walloon provinces of Hainaut, Walloon Brabant and Liège to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands.

Finding Immigration Accommodation for Newcomers in Flanders Canada

Most searches begin with a search engine. Local papers in Flanders may well be online and of course, listing sites such as Craigslist and Rentfaster Flanders can be of great help.

What is the cost of short term accommodation in Flanders

The cost of short-term newcomer accommodation in Flanders varies greatly depending on requirements and neighborhoods. Lots of new arrivals to Flanders use Airbnb to give them an indication of short term rental process in Flanders and also the option to book with confidence and security.

Another website that offers the same accommodation as Airbnb.

Rental accommodation in Flanders for newcomers

One you decide to rent an apartment or house there are certain things specific to Canada to keep in mind. For example, make sure to agree who pays for utilities, and who is responsible for removing snow!

Property owners and landlords will usually require payslips or proof of income, bank statements and occasionally they may require references from previous landlords although lots of new immigrants to Flanders were homeowners in their previous country. Sometimes it does help to already have secured employment in the greater Flanders area.

 

 

All renters in Flanders have rights, so you need to familiarize yourself with those rights before you sign any agreement. Thankfully there are a number of Organizations set up in Flanders to help. These are called Newcomer services and a list of these can be found here: newcomer service

Newcomer subletting in Flanders Canada

Sometimes when a renter leaves for a few months they will sublet their accommodation. Quite often they leave some furnishings behind and for some newcomers to Flanders this can be an ideal option, especially if you’ve yet to buy furniture or if your shipment is delayed.

 

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