Support grows for inquiry into housing corporations

Christian Democrat MPs on Wednesday called on the government to set up a parliamentary inquiry into housing corporations following a string of scandals and financial problems.

Housing corporations, originally established to house low income families, have grown into massive organisations which now control some 2.4 million homes, or around one-third of the country’s housing stock.
The inquiry should focus on the housing corporation system, management, internal and external regulation and the position of tenants, the CDA MPs said. Labour MPs are also in favour of an inquiry, in parallel with tougher laws.
In January, it emerged the Netherlands’ biggest housing corporation is in financial difficulty after speculating on the financial markets on interest rates. Rotterdam-based Vestia, which manages 89,000 homes, also paid its former boss a €3.5m pay-off.
Last December, the Telegraaf reported the tax office had identified 35 property transactions involving housing corporations where there is a possibility of tax avoidance.
The giant Amsterdam corporation Rochdale is demanding €6m back from its former boss who was sacked for fraud and embezzlement in 2009. And in 2008, another Rotterdam corporation Woonbron got into difficulty over a €200m investment in a cruise ship.

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