Rent-controlled housing plan in doubt as opposition mounts

Plans to allow housing corporations to put up the price of rent-controlled properties sharply before a new tenant takes over are likely to be put on ice at this afternoon’s debate on the housing market, according to media reports.

Home affairs minister Piet Hein Donner wants to allocate an extra 25 points to all rent-controlled housing in the Netherlands, which means maximum rents could go up by €125 a month.
The price of social sector housing in the Netherlands is determined by a strict system based on points. For example, landlords can get extra points for wider balconies, extra sinks and long kitchen work surfaces, which all add to the property’s price.
However, a survey by Trouw shows only four of 83 housing corporations plan to use the minister’s 25 point bonus to increase rents and just 25 support the idea in principle.
And MPs are also opposed. According to some reports, Christian Democrat MPs are also opposed, meaning there is not enough support in parliament to pass the measure.
The increase would only affect new tenants. Existing tenants get an annual rent rise in line with inflation.
Rent-controlled properties, which account for around 50% of the Dutch housing stock, are supposed to be reserved for low-income households.
However, in Amsterdam, for example, some 30% of rent-controlled property is lived in by people who technically earn too much to qualify.

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