New social housing projects under threat

Holland’s housing corporations, responsible for some 2.5 million homes, will stop building new properties or sharply increase rents if the cabinet goes ahead with plans to make them pay corporate taxes, the AD reports on Friday.

‘The corporations will have to earn back these taxes,’ Peter Boerefijn, director of the corporations’ lobby group Aedes, tells the paper. ‘They will either stop building or push up the rents.’
Aedes says the tax, which will raise some €550m a year for the treasury, comes on top of a string of extra costs for housing corporations. These include a commitment to invest €2.5bn in urban renewal and a similar amount in boosting properties’ energy efficiency.
The corporations argue that they need income from profitable activities, such as selling off property, to shore up loss-making projects. Under government rules, the cost of a rent-controlled property may only go up in line with inflation.
Yesterday, housing minister Ella Vogelaar reduced government targets for new housing projects. In the coalition agreement, the government says between 80,000 and 100,000 new homes should be built every year. This has now been revised to between 80,000 and 83,000, the minister said.
The figures can be lower because of ‘less immigration and more emigration,’ the Financieele Dagblad reported the minister as saying.

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