Amsterdam tackles housing shortage with 27,000 new homes in past four years

Amsterdam Winter overhead
Snow blankets the Museumplein in Amsterdam, 16 Jan. 2013 (Cris Toala Olivares/Amsterdam Marketing). Snow blankets the Museumplein in Amsterdam, 16 Jan. 2013 (Cris Toala Olivares/Amsterdam Marketing)

In an effort to deal with the housing shortage in Amsterdam, a massive 27 thousand new homes were built in the Dutch capital over the past four years of the city coalition's reign. This year construction started on nearly 7.300 homes, the city said in a press statement on Wednesday. Despite these new homes, housing prices in Amsterdam are still increasing alarmingly. The city will therefore collaborate more with regional municipalities, building 60 thousand more homes in the region up until 2020.

The Amsterdam coalition aimed to build 5 thousand homes per year in its four year term. This ambition was more than met, with construction on an average of around 6,500 homes started per year over the past four years. For comparison, between 1994 and 2017 construction started on an average of just over 4 thousand homes per year. 

"Since the 1980s, the production of homes has not been as high as in the past administrative period", housing alderman Laurens Ivens said. "I am extremely proud on everyone who contributed to this result."

Thanks to the efforts of the Amsterdam coalition, the first new homes from this administrative period have now been delivered, allowing Amsterdam residents to move to a new house more easily. This relieved some pressure on the housing market, but that pressure is still high. "The city is crying out for homes. Despite these high production figures, prices in the market are rising. Only building more is not enough", Ivens said.

Amsterdam is therefore increasing its collaboration with municipalities in the region, to build more homes there as well. Up until, and including, 2020, some 60 thousand more homes will be built in the region. That is 20 thousand more than the coalition's original plans. 

The city is also focusing more on affordability. 80 percent of new homes built in the city will be aimed at people with a low or average income. Of the 7,300 homes that started construction this year, 2,560 are regulated rental properties with a rent below 710.68 euros and 1,170 are mid-level expensive. The rest are in the higher segment. 

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