Amsterdam to buy social housing from corporations to keep them affordable
The municipality of Amsterdam is looking into buying social rental homes from housing corporations in order to make sure they stay on the market as affordable rental housing, a spokesperson for Housing alderman Laurens Ivens confirmed to NOS after reports in Het Parool.
Housing corporations have been selling homes to investors and private individuals for some time now, in order to fund investments in new construction. Amsterdam is investigating whether the municipality can buy these homes. "In this way, it can be prevented that housing corporation houses disappear forever into the segment of the free sector. Instead of social housing being privatized, they come into municipal hands with which we can control their use for the long term," Ivens said in a letter to the city council.
The city expects that Amsterdam corporations will sell around a thousand homes per year in the coming period. If the municipality were to buy those homes, it would be an annual investment of 340 million euros at an average price of 340 thousand euros per home. Ivens said that Amsterdam is going further than any other Dutch municipality with this step. But there are no other options, he said to Het Parool.
This is not a step taken lightly and the municipality will first thoroughly investigate the pros and cons, Ivens said. This includes investigating the financial consequences of the municipality buying homes at market price with the goal of renting them out at social-housing price, and whether it is desirable for the municipality to have a dual role as landlord and government.