Eindhoven, key issues: housing, integration and jobs
We asked the main political parties in Eindhoven to answer three questions, based on the issues which DutchNews.nl readers said were most important to them in our recent poll: ensuring enough affordable housing, stimulating integration and creating jobs. These are the answers so far:
1 GroenLinks wants a fair Eindhoven, where everyone is given the same opportunities. We stand for mixed neighborhoods. Our goal is to see great diversity of housing design in every neighborhood. That might be affordable accommodation, student housing or homes for people with special needs. To accomplish this goal GroenLinks thinks social housing should be a requirement for construction projects in the city. The sustainability of housing is also an important factor. Next to the rising rents we also need to find an answer for the high energy costs which also has an effect on tackling the climate change in a broader scale.
2 Eindhoven is a sum of people with a lot of different backgrounds. We are in favour of ‘taal-maatjes’ – volunteers who help people to learn Dutch. They deserve full support of the city government. But the most important thing is good collaboration between government, residents, companies, cultural initiatives and sports clubs. We challenge everyone to share their thoughts, develop their ideas and meanwhile to learn Dutch. We make this city together.
3 Eindhoven has become the second economic region of the Netherlands. More and more companies want to settle here. For GroenLinks it is important that we attract companies with plenty of jobs for socially-responsible and sustainable employers. Therefore a vibrant cultural climate and enough sports facilities for everyone are necessary. Next to that it’s important that we make big steps in choosing sustainable solutions, so that we increase the livability of the city, its green character and its appeal to both residents and visitors.
1 The CDA wants to solve the problem of (affordable) housing by making sure enough houses are build and are available. The CDA is for a safe and comfortable living environment, easy reachable by bike, bus or by car. Meeting points, community centres help people to come together and to get to know each other; as well as sport facilities for everybody.
2 The CDA wants to stimulate citizens into learn the Dutch language, facilitating organizations which give Dutch lessons and one-on-one lessons with ‘maatjes’ – volunteers for Dutch lessons. Many organisations in Eindhoven are creating bridges between expats and natives. An international city needs to be International. We should involve our citizens with an ‘understandable’ language and in the meanwhile stimulate expats to learn Dutch.
3 We are proud of our city and its brains…a lot of expats contribute to this healthy economical system every single day. This environment creates the most skilled workers, the smart inventors, designers and quick masterminds. We need these inquisitive and smart minds, now and in the coming years.
1 Affordable housing is an issue that not only affects international residents, but society as a whole. Our alderman Yasin Torunoglu has launched a large scale housing plan, delivering an extra 1,300 houses to the market in 2018, up on the already planned 1,800 homes.
In the older neighbourhoods, housing disputes are becoming increasingly common. They are often caused by having too many people living in a single residence. The municipality needs to deal with this through enforcement and by implementing stricter requirements. International residents will have to be informed much better about their rights as tenants.
2 Eindhoven is a migrant city – 200 years ago it only had 2,310 inhabitants. We welcome the international community and its diversity in cultural backgrounds as an enrichment of our daily life. In an international city such as ours, speaking English will get you around in every day life.
But if you choose to build your future in the Netherlands it’s important that you and your family learn to speak Dutch. It’s a vital aspect of the integration process. In the recent past, learning Dutch was an individual responsibility. New arrivals were dependent on language courses offered by commercial companies. It has become clear that leaving this to the market is ineffective. The municipality should provide and pay for its own language lessons for new arrivals if we want integration to be successful.
3 The Brainport region has shown to be the most successful economic region in the Netherlands over the past few years and it would be fairly easy to ‘copy and paste’ the ingredients of our success from our international Brainport-sites. Despite of our economic success, not everyone shares in the benefits. Long-term unemployment is a growing problem for several specific groups on our labour market.
In our view work is the basis of happy life. It allows us pay for our homes, food, sports, entertainment, etcetera. It leads to social contacts. People with long-term unemployment deserve all this as well. That’s why we’ll fully support businesses that give these groups new opportunities, and put a focus on creating jobs for these groups the next few years.