Low income households are threatened with being priced out of the social housing sector by the government’s housing reforms, according to research by Delft University professor Peter Boelhouwer.
The research was carried out on behalf of housing corporation umbrella group Vernieuwde Stad and shows that if corporations raise rents to their maximum, they will be too expensive for people on the lowest incomes, the Volkskrant says.
The agreement reached by housing minister Stef Blok with opposition parties D66, ChristenUnie and SGP includes a €1.7bn extra tax on housing corporation income. This, experts believe, will be raised by increasing rents as much as allowed under present regulations.
At the moment, corporations charge around 70% of the maximum rent, but this is set to go up sharply in areas of high housing demand when new tenancy agreements are signed, says Boelhouwer.
In Amsterdam, for example, new tenants in rent-controlled property are now paying 100% of the maximum rent, the Volkskrant says.
The rent of social housing in the Netherlands is calculated on a points-based system. To qualify for a rent-controlled property (up to €660 a month) a prospective tenant must earn less than €33,000 a year, or €43,000 in some cases.
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