Thursday, 19 December 2013 - 04:34
Senate approved housing agreement
The Senate adopted the housing agreement. The debate focused on the renter's levy, which should yield 1.7 billion in savings. Following objections from Labour Senator Duivesteijn, Minister Block made a number of commitments.The housing agreement was signed in February between the cabinet and D66 , ChristenUnie, and SGP. The government had the support of the opposition parties for a majority in the Senate. Dutch Parliament / Flickr The agreement provides a flow on the rental market and security on the housing market, according to Minister Blok for Housing and National Affairs. Blok thinks first-time buyers will no longer shy away from making a purchase and it will also boost the construction industry. The main measures (including the commitments of Blok in the Senate) include:
- VAT on renovation goes from 21 percent to 6 percent . This measure will be in affect for one year and started on March 1st.
- Rents will not rise 6.5 percent above inflation, but up to 4 percent. The exact percentages depends on the income.
- A renter's levy of around 1.7 billion will take affect for housing associations. The levy will be reduced if a review in 2016 shows too many harmful effects.
- An investment fund will be established for the construction industry.
- People can get a second mortgage loan of up to half the value of the property and a term of 35 years. That second loan can not be deducted from the IRS.
- 185 million euros will be reserved in a fund for energy efficiency.
- 50 million euros will be reserved for a special fund for loans starters.
- Tenants who experience a drop in income, will qualify for rent reduction under certain conditions.
- The rent will not be linked to the property value. Points will determine the rent.
- It will be made more appealing to convert empty office buildings to living space.
- Institutional investors have more room to buy homes from housing corporations.