Living conditions in the Netherlands’ poorest neighbourhoods are deteriorating, according to a new report compiled for the housing corporation umbrella group Aedes.
Too many people with problems are living too close together, and noise, vandalism and other nuisance issues are getting worse, the report, which covers 1998 to 2016, found.
Housing corporations have come under increasing pressure to rent their cheapest homes to refugees, people with psychiatric problems and single parents and this is distorting the make-up of neighbourhoods, Aedes says.
‘Deprived neighbourhoods are with us again,’ said Aedes chairman Marnix Noorder. ‘Families are leaving and people with problems are left behind. The cement in the community is disappearing and vulnerable tenants are coming instead.’
Some 1.5 million of the Dutch population of over 17 million live in areas where more than two thirds of the homes are rent controlled. This means they have a rent of less than €710 a month and can only be rented to people on low incomes.
Norder says housing corporations are doing what they can to improve things. ‘We look at the make up of communities and we make sure that buildings don’t deteriorate. But that is clearly not enough,’ he said.
‘We need more support from local authorities in terms of care options and more help from national government … to make sure that some neighbourhoods don’t become dumping grounds for people with no prospects.’
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