MPs increasing social housing income limit

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A proposal by the Labour Party and the ChristenUnie, to raise the income threshold for social housing, has been adopted by the House Tuesday.The income threshold for social housing is now at 34,000 euros, which was agreed upon at European level. Many people who make just over the threshold, get caught between a rock and a hard place, because they don't qualify for a mortgage either, according to the Labour Party and ChristenUnie.

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Both parties want 20 percent of social housing to be dedicated to the group that earns between 34,000 and 38,000 euros per year. The other houses remain reserved for those who earn less than 34,000 euros. In addition, the Labour Party wants the government to find out from Brussels what it would take to increase the threshold even further, to 43,000 euros.

VVD and D66 disapprove of the plans. Housing Minister, Stef Blok, also thinks increasing the threshold is not the way to go. Blok fears the waiting lists for people who really rely on a corporation house, would get longer. He also thinks (institutional) investors would again become less keen to invest in affordable housing in the private sector, because they might fear competition from corporations that build with state funding. Blok will discuss it in the House.

The SP really struggled with the issue, until early this week, when they felt finally a compromise had been reached. The SP added to the motion that the core inventory of social housing should be of sufficient size to accommodate low-income households in affordable housing. The motion further regulates that rental housing with rents less than 536 euros are rented exclusively to households with the lowest incomes, and social housing with rent between 537 and 681 can be offered to both the lowest and the middle income housholds.

The number of households with incomes between 34,000 and 38,000 euros is 428,000, but consists of both tenants and owners.

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