Can Almere solve Amsterdam's housing shortage? Two ruling parties say "yes"

In an effort to relieve housing pressure in Amsterdam, ruling parties CDA and D66 want to build thousands of new homes in Almere, as well as a tunnel or bridge to improve the connection to the capital. They want Almere Pampus to consist of 25 thousand homes that can house between 50 thousand and 60 thousand people, RTL Nieuws reports.

This project will cost billions of euros, which can come from the investment fund the government wants to establish, according to the party. Almere Pampus, neighbors the Almere Poort district, and is about seven kilometers across the IJmeer from Amsterdam's IJburg neighborhood.

CDA party chairman Pieter Heerma calls the shortages on the housing market "harrowing", especially in Amsterdam. "The prices are rising. Almere Pampus can help to change that by creating more affordable homes." 

D66 leader Rob Jetten told NOS that Almere is the ideal location for this plan. "It is a beautiful area on the IJmeer, with a view of Amsterdam. There are few places in the Netherlands where we can think so big. And the area is ready to be developed."

Building in Almere Pampus has long been considered a long-term plan. In 2013, the previous government decided to look at this option again in 2025. First they wanted to create 25 thousand extra homes in Almere, according to RTL. That goal was achieved sooner than expected, so the CDA and D66 want to move up the Almere Pampus plans.

This also means accelerating the construction of a better connection between Almere and Amsterdam - a condition the region set on further growth. According to calculations in 2012, building a bridge would cost around 2.2 billion euros, building a tunnel would cost between 2.5 and 2.9 billion euros.

If all goes well and a decision is made quickly about the IJmeer connection, construction in Pampus can start in around five years' time, according to RTL.