High earners stay put in rent-controlled homes, despite government efforts

housing amsterdamThe cabinet’s efforts to persuade high earners to leave their rent-controlled homes and either buy or move up the rental housing ladder is not yet having an impact, broadcaster Nos said at the weekend.

The broadcaster bases its claim on a report drawn up for the housing corporation umbrella group Aedes and the tenants lobby group Woonbond.

The report says in 2015, 547,000 rent controlled properties were lived in by people with an income of more than €34,911 a year, which breaks the official income limit for social housing. This figure is unchanged from 2012, before the new policy was introduced.

In total, 32% of people living in social housing should be living in the liberalised rental sector, where rents are at least €710 a month, the report shows.

Over the past two years, housing minister Stef Blok has allowed landlords to put up social housing rents by more than the rate of inflation for high earners. Housing ministry figures show just 3% of high earners left their rent-controlled property in the first year of the new rental policy.

Housing corporations say one important problem is the shortage of properties just over the social housing level. In the central urban belt of the Netherlands, for example, rents start at at least €900 and in Amsterdam are often higher.

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