Rent up for thousands in poverty

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Tenants are staging mass protests against a new regulation that would see hundreds of thousands of people earning above average pay an extra 4-6.5 percent on their rent per 1 July. Hundreds of people have announced that they are landing in money problems because of this.

The National Tenants' Association is worried about this growing group of people who are becoming financially constricted. "The affordability is forming a continually bigger problem" says Erik Maassen of the Association. According to the Association there are already 725,000 tenants living in poverty, and that number will rise to 890,000 in the coming years.

The rent increase is not only affecting low and middle incomes, but high incomes as well, Maassen says. "It is forgotten that some people already spend €700 or €800 in rent per month, sometimes don't get housing benefits, already had such a hefty increase last year and that in the mean time all the fixed charges have already increased considerably", Maassen says.

Aedes, the umbrella organization of housing corporations, is also worried about tentants' growing financial problems. "The Cabinet has given corporations the landlords charge. A tax that will run up to €1.7 billion in 2017. To pay that, corporations are entirely reorganizing, and they are investing less in renovation and new construction. They don't make it with that, and they are forced to increase rent. With that, the increase lands on the tenant's plate", Marc Calon of Aedes says in a reaction.

The Tenants' Association will research with Aedes what can be done to keep homes affordable. According to an Aedes survey, 80 percent of corporations will apply the income-dependent increase on tenants.