New tax threatens urban renewal plan

A plan to inject €2.5bn into 40 urban renewal neighbourhoods over the coming 10 years is under threat as a result of bad feeling between the housing corporations and housing minister Ella Vogelaar.

MPs from the government parties on Thursday backed Vogelaar’s plans to claw back €75m in extra tax from the housing corporations this year because of what she said was their failure to meet urban renewal commitments.
Last summer the minister and housing corporations agreed that the corporations would put €2.5bn into specific renovation projects, or so-called prachtwijken, over the next 10 years.
But earlier this year it emerged that some of the projects marked for the new schemes are actually old plans that have been recycled by the housing corporations.
The corporation’s umbrella group Aedes has so far come up with three financial packages, all of which Vogelaar has rejected.
The extra tax, she said, is a direct result of the housing corporations’ failure to meet last summer’s agreement.
Free market Liberal and Socialist MPs said they are concerned the entire urban renewal project will fail without the full backing of the housing corporations.
The new tax will not contributed to a good relationship between the minister and social housing owners, the MPs said.

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