Twenty-one of the Netherlands’ biggest housing corporations have pledged to invest more than €30bn over the next 14 years renovating, demolishing and rebuilding housing stock in the larger Dutch cities. .
‘A serious impulse is necessary to improve living conditions and safety, as well as boost the social and economic performance of the Netherlands’ neighbourhoods,’ the housing corporations said.
The 21 organisations, united as ‘De Vernieuwde Stad’, represent 30% of Dutch housing stock.
A spokeswoman for local authorities organisation VNG welcomed the involvement of the housing groups – but said local government remained firmly in charge. ‘Local councils have done much to improve rundown areas in recent years, while the corporations were slow to come forward,’ the VNG told ANP. ‘This campaign may well be to prevent the government getting its hands on their assets.’
Last November, Housing Minister Pieter Winsemius sounded the alarm over the poor state of much of the Netherlands inner-city housing – and the timing of this announcement is opportune.
Sources say that the ongoing talks on forming a new government will include finding ways of forcing housing corporations to invest more in housing, schools and other facilities. In the general election, all parties suggested taking action against the housing corporations because of their poor performance.
Some 40% of Dutch houses are in the hands of the country’s 500 housing corporations.
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