Municipalities may soon be allowed to reserve half of homes for their own residents
Housing Minster Hugo de Jonge wants to give municipalities more room to prioritize their own residents in the housing market within their municipal boundaries. He plans to amend the Housing Act so that half of the available rental properties may be allocated to selected groups instead of the current 25 percent, the Volkskrant reports.
Municipalities can determine how they make the distribution, but it also applies to people with crucial professions, like teachers, nurses, and police officers. The priority policy will also include the lower end of the owner-occupied market - homes with a value up to the National Mortgage Guarantee limit (355,000 euros this year).
De Jonge sent his legislative amendment to parliament on Tuesday and hopes to implement the new rules in the first half of 2023. He hopes his plan will promote social cohesion, particularly in smaller municipalities.
“The shortage in the housing market is felt everywhere. First-time buyers often cannot find affordable housing in their own village because prices are skyrocketing due to significant outbidding. Often by people from outside the region. Even seniors cannot find a suitable apartment in their own municipality if they want to move on. It is crucial for the livability and vitality of the region that people can continue to live in their own village if they want to move,” he said in a letter to parliament.
The Minister’s plan will require an amendment to the Housing Act because it lays down the freedom of housing - everyone who is lawfully a resident of the Netherlands has the right to move and settle freely. According to De Jonge, the public interest “of counteracting the unbalanced and unjust effects of a scarcity of housing” now outweighs that freedom.