Amsterdam to bring back flat-sharing, stop social housing sell-offs
Amsterdam city officials have published a string of measures which they hope will end the city’s housing shortage by 2040 and ensure there are enough affordable, decent places to live.
The measures focus on protecting the current housing stock, by stopping the sell-off of social housing, reducing the number of empty properties and encouraging older people to move to smaller homes once any children have left home.
‘The solution lies in the existing housing stock,’ housing chief Zita Pels said. ‘It has to become affordable again, of good quality and not simply a way of making money. And that is what we are going to end.’
The plans were drawn up together with local housing corporations and following online and face to face consultations with some 1,100 locals.
In particular, the plans will make it easier for small groups of young adults to share homes via a single contract from 2024, something which the city clamped down on in 2020.
Pels is also working on plans which would require landlords renting property costing up to €1175 per month to apply for a licence, and to restrict their choice of tenants to people leaving social housing behind.
In addition, she is looking at the option of including a clause requiring people renting large family homes to move once their offspring have left home.
The proposals are now being put out to consultation and will be voted on by the city council before the summer.
Amsterdam currently has a population of 921,000 but that is expected to top one million in the near future.
The shortage of affordable housing is so great that in 2021, only 23 people were able to move into a rent controlled property who were not on a priority list.
The city already aims to build 7,500 new homes and 2,500 temporary homes a year to help ease the shortage.
The new plans make choices about who should be helped in the tough city housing market, and who is not a priority.
‘This means no (additional) council input – apart from the 20% free sector housing in new construction projects – for high income groups, expats with a high income and international students,’ the report said.
Instead, the plans focus on low and middle income families, vulnerable groups and the elderly. ‘These are the people who are faced with a a city they cannot afford or aspire to,’ Pels told NH Nieuws. ‘They are the ones who need our help, and they need it now.’
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