Some 9,000 tenants can't afford their rent: report

Social housing in Ypenburg, The Hague
Social housing in Ypenburg, The HagueCreativeNatureDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

To date around 9 thousand Netherlands residents reported to their housing corporations that they cannot afford to pay their rent. The housing corporations expect that number to increase in the coming period, NRC reports after surveying 197 housing corporations, which own about 1.6 million of the 2.4 million rental homes in the Netherlands.

The housing corporations think that more and more tenants will report payment problems as this crisis continues. "The longer the measures against the coronavirus continue to apply, the larger the problem group becomes," one corporation said to the newspaper. And: "Most tenants still had a salary for March, were able to get through April with their buffer, but for May the question is whether that will still work."

So far, tenants with payment problems mainly work as freelancers or self-employed. People renting business premises are also starting to report payment problems, according to the housing corporations.

The 9 thousand tenants with payment problems are only about 0.5 percent of the 1.6 million people who rent through the surveyed corporations, so the problems aren't that bad yet. According the the corporations, this is mainly because the majority of their tenants have a fixed income from benefits like welfare or pension. Nationally, 61 percent of social rental housing residents receive such a benefit.

The housing corporations also think that not everyone with financial problems have come forward yet.