Monday 18 June 2018

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Housing corporations evict fewer tenants, say more can still be done

Housing corporations evict fewer tenants, say more can still be done

Dutch housing corporations evicted far fewer people for non-payment of bills last year, umbrella group Aedes said on Thursday. In 2017, 3,700 tenants were evicted, a drop of almost a quarter on 2016, Aedes said. Eight in 10 were evicted for not paying their rent. The others either caused a nuisance, were growing marijuana, or had sublet or left the property empty. In total, 84% were single people. ‘There are often sad personal stories behind evictions, so housing corporations do all they can to prevent people from ending up on the streets,’ Aedes chairman Marnix Norder said in a statement. Corporations are, for example, increasingly making agreements with local authorities about poverty, debt and evictions and Noorder said the eviction rate can be reduced still further. ‘The tax office and government fines department have priority in collecting debts, but add on enormous process costs,’ Norder said. ‘If we want to reduce the eviction rate, then the government has to ditch its priority claim and work with councils and housing corporations.’ Rent, gas, water and electricity should have priority when debts are being settled, he said, adding ‘a roof over your head is more important than paying a fine.’  More >

Flat hunters will compromise on size

Flat hunters will compromise on size but won’t commute more than one hour People looking for a flat to rent will compromise on size and appearance if it means they can live in their preferred area, according to new research by housing platform Pararius. Almost 90% of the 1,400 people polled said they would accept a smaller or less-attractive home if they could live in their ideal location. Top of the list of concerns home hunters have is the neighbourhood, followed by local amenities and travelling time to work, the research showed. Nine out of 10 said they were not willing to travel for more than one hour to get to work. On average the Dutch commute for around 30 minutes. 'Most people are being forced to make concessions, particularly in the cities,' Pararius director Jasper de Groot said. Pararius has now launched a smart map function to its housing platform which shows local amenities, schools and shops and allows users to set a maximum commute time into their preferences. 'These means they get more insight into their preferred areas and will get to see homes in locations they might not have considered,' De Groot said.  More >

Amsterdam homes are smaller than average

Amsterdam homes are smaller than the national average Amsterdam residents have on average 49 square metres in which to live, well below the national average of 65 m2, according to the national statistics office CBS. Couples without children fare even worse, having only 40 m2 per person in the capital city.  Childless couples elsewhere in the country have 60% more room the CBS said. Two-thirds of all Amsterdammers live in homes which are smaller than 75m2 and only 3% have homes bigger than 150 m2.  The national average is 25% and 17% respectively. The difference between Amsterdam and the rest of the country has a lot to do with age, the CBS said. Large cities attract young people, students and starters, all of whom live alone and prices are higher.  The trade-off between the two, the CBS said, is measured in square metres. Nevertheless, property developers in the city are keen to develop ever smaller housing units, or micro-apartments, for youngsters. Micro-apartments usually measure between 29m2 and 32m2, or the size of a large master bedroom in a more traditional home. Nevertheless, all are equipped with a kitchen, toilet and shower and come complete with shared facilities such as a launderette, cafe and even guest accommodation.  More >