Amstelveen key questions: housing, integration and jobs
We asked the main political parties in Amstelveen to answer three questions, based on the issues which DutchNews.nl readers said were most important to them in our recent poll: ensuring enough affordable housing, stimulating integration and creating jobs. These are the answers so far:
1 Affordable housing is by far the main issue concerning Amstelveen’s expat community. This is a, if not the, major issue in Amstelveen, affecting both expats and locals alike. The last couple of years not many new houses have been built. To make matters worse, the houses that were built, were only in very expensive categories, either with high rents or high purchase prices. The housing market is clearly overheating and a major policy change is needed here. During our opposition term the last four years we have consistently and strongly argued for medium priced houses, under non-speculation terms, with monthly rents of around €1000. This is now the key topic in our campaign.
2 The CDA has a strong tradition in fostering the role of associations in society, simply because there are needs that neither the market nor government can fulfill. The local government should create the conditions for expats to integrate into society. Learning the Dutch language is key here. As such there is a role for the local government to ensure that good language courses are available sufficiently. In addition, we foster the role of sports and the community life in Amstelveen. Lots of sport clubs are active in Amstelveen, and within our city centre there is a vibrant life of cultural institutions. Expats are more than welcome here. More in particular we support good sport facilities in Amstelveen, in particular a new swimming pool and a diverse offering in sport centres.
3 We foster an open entrepreneurial business climate for both multinationals and startups. Amstelveen, together with Amsterdam, organised multiple trade missions abroad, including those to Asia. In the past, this has encouraged multinationals to invest in Amstelveen, creating jobs and prosperity. At the same time, we have a keen eye for entrepreneurs that want to start their own business. We promote ensuring that sufficient business housing is available and new entrepreneurs are introduced in various networks to find potential customers and reliable suppliers. Being an entrepreneur with a medium sized business myself, I am aware that the support of the local government can be very helpful. The city of Amstelveen has a facility for new entrepreneurs where they can obtain advice, and this should be accessible for expats too.