Thousands of social rental apartments in dire need of repair
The condition of every 1 in 25 apartments in the social housing market has been classed as moderate to very bad, figures from the Housing Corporation Authority showed, according to RTL Nieuws. That amounts to around 80 thousand apartments in the Dutch social rental housing market that are in dire need of repair.
For tenants, this can mean moldy walls and ceilings, rotting window frames, impassable balconies and rotting window frames.
The condition of the apartments is evaluated by independent inspectors based on a scale from one to six with one being the highest score. A three means that the apartment is in need of repair soon. Once the state of the apartment reaches a four, it should be repaired immediately. “Then, you have to keep in mind that the house will soon need major maintenance. Within zero to three years,” independent housing inspector Roel Warringa told RTL Nieuws.
The age of the apartment should not be an excuse for insufficient upkeep, according to Warringa.
Waiting too long to make repairs to avoid costs will only lead to repairs becoming more expensive in the end.
Particularly in Rotterdam, there were many apartments in a bad state. Nearly half of all apartments from the corporation Woonstad Rotterdam receive a score between three to six.
Woonstad Rotterdam claimed that the numbers do not paint an accurate picture. The condition score of the apartment is only updated, once the repairs have been completed and it is not possible to do them all at once, Woonstad Rotterdam said. “There are too many social tasks and too few resources to focus even more vigorously on increasing the level of maintenance,” Woonstad Rotterdam said.
The housing union said that structural changes need to happen to improve apartment conditions. “We think it is normal that a car on the road has to be safe but we don’t feel the same about an apartment. We would like to see a periodic inspection on the quality of housing,” the housing union demanded.