Netherlands unveils plans to build 150,000 affordable homes

The Netherlands has announced plans to build 150,000 low-rent homes to tackle its chronic housing shortage.

The plan, announced by deputy prime minister Kajsa Ollongren, will be implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the association of Dutch municipalities and Aedes, the association for housing corporations. The three bodies have set up a joint task force to oversee the process.

The aim is to build 25,000 social homes a year, beginning in 2022. Some 10,000 "flexible" homes will also be built in the next two years

Ollongren said: "New agreements have now been made so that the construction of very many new houses with a low rent can start within two years. In this way we ensure that more affordable housing is available for people with lower income and vulnerable groups such as the homeless."

Aedes chairman Martin van Rijn added: "Far too many people are still waiting for an affordable rental home. Housing corporations are eager to build for them. It is good to look at and solve the bottlenecks in the planning and preparation together."

Last week, Ollongren announced that €620m would be spent on 27 housing schemes that would not be otherwise affordable because of site preparation costs and their public transport infrastructure needs.

These schemes, which will add 51,000 homes to the country’s housing stock, will involve converting 12 former industrial sites, as well as a shopping mall in Rijswijk.

Funding will come from a €1bn fund established last year to boost the housing market.

The Netherlands currently has a shortage of 331,000 homes, 4.2% of the housing stock. The aim is to reduce that to 2% in 2035. Experts say the Netherlands needs to build 845,000 homes before 2030 to keep pace with demand.

Image: A housing project in the Dutch town of Diemen (Dreamstime)

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