Amsterdam housing corporation plans don’t add up to more social homes


Plans by Amsterdam housing corporations to build nearly 11,000 new rent controlled homes in the city within the next four years will only result in a net increase of 3,241 properties for low income households, the Parool reported on Tuesday.

At the same time as building the new homes, the housing corporations will sell off 3,455 flats and houses, demolish some 3,000 and increase rents on 1,200 so that they fall outside the social housing sector, the paper said.

While the plans do meet the council’s plans to increase the supply of social homes and those with a mid-market rent, they do conflict with housing minister Zita Pels’ call on corporations not to sell off homes, the paper points out.

The corporations, however, say the sale is needed to fund investments in new homes and making those they already rent out more energy efficient. And they also warn that interest rate rises and the shortage of building land could reduce the number of new homes which do eventually get built.

Between 2020 and 2023, the paper said, housing corporations added just a ‘few hundred’ homes to the city’s social housing stock.

The corporations are planning to spend €2.5 billion in the coming years on improvements to the existing housing stock, particularly in terms of energy efficiency. The focus will be on housing with low energy labels because from 2030 they will be banned from renting out properties with an E or lower score.

Housing corporations own 186,000 of the city’s homes and some 40% of the total housing stock is rent controlled. Nevertheless, 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 housing corporations do plan to build a further 1,321 homes with a maximum rent of €1,131 in the coming four years.

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