Minister takes control of housing corp.

Housing minister Eberhard van der Laan has appointed an external supervisor to oversee the finances of housing corporation Woonbron, reports Tuesday’s Telegraaf.

The move follows the discovery of financial problems at Woonbron linked to the purchase and refurbishment of the classic ocean liner ss Rotterdam.
Woonbron’s books will now be scrutinised on a weekly basis and the housing corporation has until March 1 to come up with a plan for selling 80% of the ship, says the paper.
The SS Rotterdam is being converted into a hotel and conference complex but costs shot up from an initial €6m to €200m within three years. Delays in completing the work meant that the expected income from hiring out the facilities has not materialised.
Woonbron’s financial problems were partly responsible for the resignation of former housing minister Ella Vogelaar in November.

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