Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 14:43
Fears mount as social housing becomes scarcer
Stakeholders are concerned that a combination of increasing rental property sail and the small amount of new social rent homes being built will soon lead to a shortage of social housing. Foreign investors have discovered the Dutch housing market and half of all the investments made in Dutch rental properties last year came from foreign investors, NOS reports. Real estate consultancy firm Capital value confirmed to the broadcaster that 14,300 rental homes were sold to foreign parties in 10 transactions last year. Half of that came from the social rent sector. German investor Patrizia bought 5,500 homes from housing corporation Vestia last year and the British Round Hill Capital bought 4 thousand homes from the Residential Investment Fund. Capital Value expects that between 5 thousand and 10 thousand homes will be sold to foreign investors over 2015. The Housing Accord implemented in 2013 made it easier for housing association to sell rental housings. In the same year Minister Stef Blok of Housing also implemented the so-called landlords charge, that landlords have to pay on their property. The government wants to make 1.7 billion euros for the state coffers with this charge, but it is also a reason for housing corporations to get rid of properties. Hugo Priemus, Emeritus Professor of Housing at TU Delft, is very concerned about the sale of housing corporation homes. "Many people want to live in the cities. The result is that there is a growing shortage, particularly a shortage of social housing for people with modest incomes, and that shortage is now increasing dramatically." In July the professor also warned that the waiting lists for social housing will only increase if something does not change soon. Woonbond, the organization that represents the interests of tenants, is also concerned and attributes part of the problem to the landlords charge. This charge will be assessed next year. "It would be very important if that expires and much more is invested. And that no more homes are sold to private investors, but that they remain in the social inventory."