New construction projects increasingly unaffordable: Dutch housing corporations

Housing corporations are unable to build as many homes as they want due to rising construction costs and a lack of locations, they said in a survey by housing corporations' association Aedes. New construction projects also regularly turn out to be financially unfeasible due to higher construction costs, they said, NOS reports.

The Dutch housing corporations aim to build 34 thousand new social rental homes per year by the end of this government period, but they are struggling to reach that goal. Last year only half of the 17 thousand new homes were actually realized. 29 percent of housing corporations said that rising construction costs make it increasingly common for projects being unable to get financing. The founding costs of a home - what it costs to build - can no longer be translated into an acceptable monthly rent. 

New construction plans are regularly shelved, Aedes chairman Marnix Norder said to NOS. He wants the government to take measures. "Many people are eagerly looking for an affordable rental home; years of waiting for a house is no longer an exception. So municipalities, tackle the the housing shortage and take care of construction sites. And government, take control and make firm agreements with municipalities about the number of houses that have to be built."

The Authority for Housing Corporations, the independent supervisor on the sector, confirms the problems. Housing corporations are asked to do a lot at once - available social rental housing, affordable rents, mid-segment rents, and make the existing stock more sustainable, director Kees van Nieuwamerongen said to NOS. "You can only choose a few ambitions, not all of them. The choice must be made by the government and the corporations. I also think this is a choice that can be made."