A 7 year waiting list to get a social rental home in a quarter of Dutch municipalities
For a social rental home in the Netherlands, one has to be registered for an average of more than seven years in at least ninety municipalities, according to research by the national broadcaster NOS. In the five municipalities with the longest registration period (Landsmeer, Wormerland, Haarlemmermeer, Diemen, and Laren), one waits on average even longer than seventeen years.
A collection of registration periods for social housing in 212 municipalities showed that among 60 percent, the waiting time was at least several years. In the rest of the municipalities, housing associations have provided insufficient figures for a representative picture. Of the municipalities that provided figures, there are, therefore, ninety where one has to wait longer than seven years. That is more than a quarter of all municipalities in the Netherlands, but probably even more municipalities have at least such a long registration period.
The ten municipalities with the longest registration period, all over fourteen years, are all located in Noord-Holland. Amsterdam is not in that top 10, but in thirteenth place with thirteen years and ten months.
Long waiting times are also no longer an exception in more and more regions outside the Randstad. For example Apeldoorn, with seven years and nine months. "The demand here has increased enormously in a few years, partly because an owner-occupied home is becoming inaccessible to more and more people due to the increased prices," says Marco de Wilde, director of the Veluwonen corporation.
Shortest: eight months
The municipality with the shortest registration period is Rijssen-Holten in Overijssel: eight months. "Compliments to the corporations here," says Alderman for Housing Erik Wessels. "They have done their best to create more supply, and that is yielding this result. It is also in our DNA to buy a house, and it is encouraged in families to save for it. As a result, the demand for rental properties is lower."
Rijssen-Holten also has the 'advantage' that the number of inhabitants there has grown a lot less rapidly in the past five years than the average in the Netherlands.
Because one of the reasons why there are now such long waiting lists is that few social homes have been added in the Netherlands in recent years, while the population has grown considerably. Between 2015 and 2020, the number of housing association homes increased by only 1 percent, while the population increased by 3 percent.
"Of course, there are simply too few homes available," says Martin van Rijn, chairman of the Aedes housing association trade association. "This is also because housing associations were not allowed to build for the median rent for a while. The thought was that the market would solve that. That did not happen. Furthermore, after the construction of many Vinex homes, the feeling prevailed that we were 'ready'. The demand for housing was still increasing among young people, labor migrants, the elderly, and status holders.
The Ministry of the Interior says it has taken measures in recent years to improve corporations' finances, such as a lowering of the landlord levy. This should lead to more new construction. "The first signals about the effects of this policy are encouraging," said the ministry.