New construction crisis looms due to high costs and staff shortages

Work on building a new underground bike park in Amsterdam. Photo:
Work on building a new underground bike park in Amsterdam. Photo:

Building projects all over the Netherlands are at risk of stalling because of rising costs and a shortage of qualified workers, the AD reported on Monday.

The downturn in the construction sector during the crisis years and the knock-on effect on suppliers and staffing levels means costs are now rising, the paper says. Some projects now cost 6% to 10% more than the tender price, adding to companies’ financial woes, the paper said.

Last week, Brabant building company Moonen Den Bosch went bust because it could no longer carry the extra costs. ‘Our members fear that Moonen will not be the last,’ Coen van Rooyen, of the Dutch project developers’ association NVB told the paper.

It is unclear what the impact of the bankruptcy will have on the 22 projects Moonen was involved in.

Meanwhile in Amsterdam, work has stopped on a 600 apartment project because the developers AM and Blauwhoed have been unable to find contractors who are willing to build the project for the price agreed in 2016.

The city council is partly to blame for the problems with its insistence that most apartments are for people on low or moderate incomes, developers say. ‘We’ve already passed on two projects because we can’t get the finances to work,’ Robert Kohsiek of developer Wonam told the Parool.

Amsterdam aims to build 50,000 new homes over the next seven years to cope with its growing population.

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