Housing minister Hugo de Jonge has reached broad agreement with the 12 Dutch provinces about where over 900,000 new homes will be built in the coming eight years.
Most – 235,460 – will be built in Zuid-Holland province, while Drenthe in the east will add just 13,631 homes to its housing stock.
De Jonge described news of the agreement as a major step forward and said talks will now start with the provinces and others to decide exactly where the new housing developments will go. The minister hopes the deal will head off lengthy discussions and protests about where the housing is located.
The project, to build 900,000 new homes requires ‘joint effort, shoulder to shoulder, between the government, housing corporations and the private sector,’ he said.
Two in three of the new homes will be classed as affordable, with a rent of less than €1000 a month or a cost price below the national mortgage guarantee ceiling, which is currently €355,000.
Private investors earlier slammed the government’s decision to ensure two-thirds of the new properties are ‘affordable’, saying this will make many developments impossible to finance.
Soaring inflation and the shortage of construction workers are also likely to hamper the government’s plans.
De Jonge said he hoped that the introduction of more standardization and prefabrication would have an impact, but admitted the uncertainty over the economy is an issue for private sector developers. ‘But with these agreements, they now know what we want to built in the coming years,’ he said. ‘The private sector knows what is expected of them.’
Building sector lobby group Bouwend Nederland said in a reaction that it had many questions about the plan. Most of the proposals are still up in the air, thanks to nitrogen and noise norms, the organisation pointed out.
‘It is a great ambition… but there are lot of hurdles to take to make it a reality,’ said director Fries Heinis. ‘Some of the plans are concrete in the short term… but the government must involve the private sector far more than it has done so far.’
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