Social housing system in a bind as home sale prices, free market rents rise high
The Dutch housing crisis is apparent in many areas in the Netherlands, including in the social housing sector.
With house prices on the rise, the number of people looking for a social housing apartment has only increased in the past years. In the region of Haaglanden alone, around 160 thousand people indicated that they are on the lookout for a social housing apartment.
“What other alternative is there?”, Coen Springelkamp from the housing corporation Ymere asked.
Finding a home in the Netherlands can be difficult if you do not qualify for social housing. Only three percent of the houses are accessible to someone slightly over the permitted limit for social housing. At an interest rate of one percent, someone with a yearly income of 41 thousand euros can lend a maximum of 185,896 euros to buy a home, according to an estimation by the Hypotheker.
“Normally, we see that the number of people looking increases by four percent every year but now we see that the number of people looking has risen by seven percent for the past two years”, director of the umbrella association Social Huurders Haaglanden Jozefine Hoft told NU.nl.
In some cases, people have to wait more than 15 years before they get an apartment in the social housing sector.
The social housing system resorted to offering people a place to live in the homes of elderly people who have space available in their family home after their children left the nest.
Yet, that is only a temporary solution. A structural change needs to happen to alleviate the housing crisis and that involves primarily building new homes. “Building simply has the greatest effect”, Hoft says.