Amsterdam short thousands of homes for vulnerable groups
It's not only students and first-time buyers or renters having trouble finding homes in Amsterdam. The city will face a shortage of 10,000 to 15,000 homes for vulnerable groups by 2030, Het Parool reports based on recently released municipal figures.
The deficit will only get bigger every year, according to the newspaper. This year, the city already has 3,000 too few homes for vulnerable groups, which is expected to rise to 4,000 next year. Vulnerable groups include refugees, homeless people, and people with socio-medical issues.
Alderman Zita Pels of Public Housing spoke of a "sad" reality. "The problem is huge because these people will only have a harder time if they don't get a home quickly. We see shortages for the people we want to help, but we don't have the houses for it."
Approximately 6,500 social rental homes become available in Amsterdam annually, of which housing associations make 1,800 available for vulnerable groups. Last year, 1,000 of these homes went to refugees. On average, they have to wait six months to a year for a home. That left about 800 homes for other vulnerable Amsterdam residents. Every year, the city adds about 2,000 people to the vulnerable residents' list.
"We remain committed to housing refugees. Amsterdam has a big heart. At the same time, we have to make painful choices to avoid having such a large group of urgent people that we can no longer help anyone," Pels said to Parool.
The city council is currently discussing what to do. One option is to take "self-reliant" homeless people who can find shelter with friends or family from the priority list. But the city council previously rejected this option. They're also looking at reception in the region. "It can offer solace to come to agreements with the municipalities around us. Someone who works at Schiphol may be able to get a social rental home in Haarlemmermeer," Pels said.
But the main focus is on building more homes. In Amsterdam, 40 percent of residential construction must be social housing. "Minister Hugo de Jonge has promised an additional 250,000 social rental homes, and other municipalities will soon have to build 30 percent social housing. That helps us enormously because we cannot find a home for everyone here," Pels said.