Sell your commercial property, housing minister tells corporations

Housing corporations which are in financial difficulty should sell their shops, office complexes and more expensive residential properties, raising a potential €14bn, housing minister Stef Blok says in an interview with Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

Commercial property management is not one of the key tasks of social housing providers like the corporations, and selling property is a clever way of raising cash, Blok said in the interview.
Housing corporations also control some 60,000 residential properties which fall outside the rent-controlled sector and could be sold as well, the minister said.
Dozens of housing corporations say they are threatened with bankruptcy by the government’s plan to charge a €2bn levy on their income this year. They have also abandoned new housing projects because the investment costs are too high.
Housing association umbrella group Aedes told the paper the suggestion is unrealistic given the problems facing the property market. Nor is the sale of commercial property a structural solution for the €2bn levy, a spokesman said.
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