Friday 07 October 2022

Own locals first: councils to get more say over housing supply

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Local councils will get the power to allocate 50% of all housing – both rental and cheaper owner-occupied – to people who already live in the locality, under new legislation submitted to parliament on Tuesday by housing minister Hugo de Jonge.

The new law will also give councils the right to give greater priority to people in ‘crucial professions’, such as teachers, nurses and emergency service workers, De Jonge told MPs in a briefing.

People starting out on the housing ladder often fail to find somewhere to live in their home town because ‘prices are soaring and overbidding is rampant’, De Jonge said. This is often down to outsiders, the minister said.

In addition, he said, elderly people who want to downsize have difficulty finding suitable apartments in their own area because of the shortage of supply.

Current rules allow local authorities to reserve half of all rental housing for people with an ‘economic or social link’ to a locality, half of which can be allocated to people already living there.

The new rule will allow 50% of all housing to go to locals, including owner-occupier homes covered by the mortgage guarantee scheme (NHG), which is currently €355,000.

The government hopes the new legislation will come into effect next year.

Students

Last week De Jonge announced plans to develop 60,000 affordable homes for students between now and 2030 in an effort to counteract the surging shortage in suitable housing.

Universities have urged youngsters from abroad without accommodation not to come to the Netherlands to study.

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