Next government will need to invest €20bn more in housing, infrastructure

New housing is concentrated in cities. Photo:

The next Dutch government will have to invest some €20bn to facilitate major housing and infrastructure in the coming years, according to a new report drawn up on behalf of housing minister Kajsa Ollongren.

Without a significant contribution from the state, new homes will not be built at the rate required and they will be more expensive than planned, Ollongren told MPs in a briefing.

In total, the 14 projects in the study involve building 440,000 new homes around the bigger Dutch cities, of which 210,000 can be completed by 2030.

In addition, the report says, the state will also need to help pay for major infrastructure projects such as expanding the Amsterdam metro system to Schiphol airport, a direct train link between Amsterdam and Almere and a new railway station in Groningen.

In total, outside experts looked at 14 different projects currently at the planning stage, all of which are ‘complex’ and involve major area developments. They include Amsterdam’s western port area, for example, where officials plan to build up to 70,000 new homes.

Most of the funding – €109bn of the €142bn – will come from private sources and local authorities will contribute €13.7bn. The rest of the money, however, will need to come from central government.

In February, an alliance of developers, construction companies, lobby groups, housing corporations and tenants associations said that one million new homes need to be built in the the Netherlands in the next 10 years to meet demand.

At the same time, they say, measures are needed to improve neighbourhoods and make the Netherlands’ housing stock more energy efficient. The organisations hope their plans will form the backbone of the next government’s strategy on housing.

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