Cheap social housing must be built: Minister

Housing corporations are required to continue offering rental housing to families entitled to the social housing benefit. Minister of Housing Stef Blok announced on Friday that it is a legal standard that must be maintained. Blok wants to reverse the trend of more and more families with rent allowance signing expensive rental agreements, he said in a statement.

Housing corporations that do not comply with the legal requirements risk getting fined.

The standard is that at least 95 percent of the home seekers with a right to housing benefit must be assigned a house with a rental price in accordance with the maximum rent limit. For one- and two-person houses the limit is 575.87 euros and 618.24 euros for homes for larger families. The housing corporations can go above the limit in a few specific instances.

The Dutch residents' housing association, Woonbond, is happy with the requirements but feel that the transitional period of three years is too long and the tenants want the new standard to apply immediately.

Unregulated free sector rental prices have gone up by 8,4 percent in Amsterdam in the last year where as the average rents in the Netherlands have only gone up by 1,3 percent, according to figures of housing firm Pararius.

People in Amsterdam have to pay on average 20.18 euros per square meter per month, which is considerably higher than the national average of 12,49 euros per square meter.