Housing corporations evict fewer tenants, say more can still be done

Social housing owned by housing corporation Rochdale. Photo: Rochdale.nl
Social housing owned by housing corporation Rochdale. Photo: Rochdale.nl

Dutch housing corporations evicted far fewer people for non-payment of bills last year, umbrella group Aedes said on Thursday.

In 2017, 3,700 tenants were evicted, a drop of almost a quarter on 2016, Aedes said. Eight in 10 were evicted for not paying their rent. The others either caused a nuisance, were growing marijuana, or had sublet or left the property empty. In total, 84% were single people.

‘There are often sad personal stories behind evictions, so housing corporations do all they can to prevent people from ending up on the streets,’ Aedes chairman Marnix Norder said in a statement.

Corporations are, for example, increasingly making agreements with local authorities about poverty, debt and evictions and Noorder said the eviction rate can be reduced still further.

‘The tax office and government fines department have priority in collecting debts, but add on enormous process costs,’ Norder said. ‘If we want to reduce the eviction rate, then the government has to ditch its priority claim and work with councils and housing corporations.’

Rent, gas, water and electricity should have priority when debts are being settled, he said, adding ‘a roof over your head is more important than paying a fine.’

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