Dividing bigger homes could create 500,000 new ones in Netherlands
Dividing existing homes in the Netherlands could create up to or more than half a million additional independent homes, according to a housing market analysis by BLG Wonen, a subsidiary of the Volksbank. BLG called on the Cabinet and municipalities to make dividing houses easier to help tackle the housing shortage.
BLG calculated how many owner-occupied homes with a usable surface of over 150 square meters or a plot of 750 square meters are occupied by two or fewer people. It excluded homes in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht. It found that 502,277 owner-occupied homes had the potential to be divided into two houses with their own front door, kitchen, bathroom, and water, gas, and electricity connections.
BLG Wonen thinks the Netherlands can reduce its housing shortage more quickly by dividing homes. “After all, the lead time for dividing a house is shorter than the realization of new construction,” said director Frank Soede. “And it requires less sacrifice of green space. In addition, the existing home is often made more sustainable during the renovation. So a win-win-win situation.”
According to BLG, about 3,000 homes are divided each year. That number is so low because people do not realize the possibilities or encounter resistance from those around them. Every year, about 1,000 homes disappear as a result of merging homes.
Reporting by ANP