Cities: “Drastic” change to social housing policy necessary

Most Housing aldermen in the 35 largest municipalities in the Netherlands believe that a change in the social housing police is necessary. They think that Housing Minister Stef Blok's idea of solving the social housing shortage problem by addressing so-called skewed living - people renting too cheaply or expensively in relation to their income - will not work.

Broadcaster NOS reported this on Tuesday after surveying the Housing aldermen of the largest municipalities on the issue. 23 aldermen responded.

"The Minister must adjust his police drastically", PvdA alderman Tjeerd Herrema of Almere said to the broadcaster.

The vast majority of the aldermen - 21 - believe that the social housing shortage will not substantially be improved by counteracting skewed living. Many of them pointed out that skewed renters often have no alternative, especially in the Randstad. Most of the aldermen think that more social housing should be built to reduce the long waiting lists in some places.

According to Minister Blok, there has been "movement in the right direction" since housing corporations were given the ability to increase the rents more for "cheap skewed renters".