Minister to encourage pensioners to move to smaller homes

HOme nurses hav Photo: ANP/Robin Utrecht
HOme nurses hav Photo: ANP/Robin Utrecht

The government wants developers and housing corporations to build 290,000 new homes suitable for the elderly, in an effort to persuade pensioners to move to smaller dwellings and free up housing for families.

There are currently 3.5 million people in the Netherlands over the age of 65 but their number will rise to 4.8 million in 2040, and that makes action even more necessary, housing minister Hugo de Jonge said on Wednesday.

‘If the elderly leave a larger home, that means a family can move, and that in turn will free up housing for someone starting on the housing ladder,’ De Jonge said.

However, research shows just 17% of the Netherlands’ older population plan to move and many want to stay in the family home where the mortgage has been paid off.

De Jonge and long-term care minister Conny Helder say that a move can be made more attractive by offering a wide range of more specialist housing, from flats without stairs to housing complexes reserved for seniors.

The government is planning to launch a major campaign, complete with ‘moving coaches’ and estate agents who specialise in the elderly, to encourage people to take the plunge.

The 290,000 homes earmarked for pensioners are part of the government’s plans to increase the housing stock by 900,000 by the end of this decade.

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