Cabinet’s housing plan unrealistic without more interventions, tenants’ association warns

Additional measures are needed to meet the Cabinet’s ambitious target of constructing roughly 900,000 new homes in the Netherlands by 2030, according to Woonbond. The tenants’ association released an action plan in anticipation of a parliamentary debate next week.

Housing Minister Hugo De Jonge previously agreed with Woonbond, Aedes, and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) to construct 250,000 social housing units. However, according to the association, increased interest rates, higher construction costs, permit issues linked to nitrogen pollution, and landowners delaying in expectation of higher returns are complicating the housing construction process.

Woonbond presented a package of measures deemed necessary to achieve the Cabinet’s goals. The association recommends raising the proportion of social rental housing to 350,000 out of the projected 900,000 new constructions. It also suggests a construction obligation for developers who were granted an environmental permit but are currently delaying construction. Other proposals include facilitating easier land expropriation by municipalities, investing an additional 10 billion euros into new construction projects over the next five years, and enhancing the role of housing corporations.

According to Zeno Winkels, director of the Woonbond, the current circumstances render the Cabinet’s objectives unattainable. “Without further interventions, the construction agreement appears unrealistic, and for many Dutch people finding affordable housing will remain a utopia,” he stated. Winkels advocated for extra steps, stressing a need to curb the market, invest substantially in affordable housing, and cut down on waiting lists.

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