Social housing from empty offices in new gov't plan

The coalition parties want more rental houses built so that the waiting lists can become shorter.

Second Chamber Members Jacques Monasch (PvdA) and Roald van der Linde (VVS) are submitting a residential budget proposal today to make building more attractive for the social sector and the free market.

The "landlord levy" that corporations must pay will not apply when building new social housing of less than 600 euro per month. Converting offices into small apartments will be promoted by enforcing fewer rules. The landlord levy was introduced on January 1st. It states that investors who have more than ten rental houses, of which the rent is 700 euros per month or less, must pay tax.

In May it was announced that housing associations are building fewer homes as a result of the charge. In the next five years they planned to build 100 thousand new homes, compared to 150 thousand two years ago.

According to both parties, there is a great demand for studios and small apartments on attractive locations. People will settle for something that might be a social rental house according to property valuation, but are still willing to pay more for other reasons. Here then no points system, rental fees and landlord levy will be needed. "By encouraging this transformation, the construction industry will get a major boost and respond to new residential concepts and the housing needs of potential tenants" says VVD MP Roald van der Linde.