PM’s VVD party against letting municipalities reserve housing for existing residents
Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s party VVD is against an important part of the Cabinet’s housing plan. Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Housing wants to let municipalities reserve half of rental and cheaper owner-occupied homes for their own residents. But the VVD thinks “that is a bridge too far,” the Telegraaf reports.
De Jonge wants to change the Housing Act to allow municipalities to allocate 50 percent, instead of the current 25 percent, of rental housing to existing residents. He also wants to extend this priority to owner-occupied homes up to the National Mortgage Guarantee limit, which is 355,000 euros this year.
But the VVD doesn’t want owner-occupied homes included in the priority. “It affects your freedom when selling your owner-occupied home,” VVD parliamentarian Peter de Groot said to the newspaper. “That's a bridge too far. Let’s stick to priority over rent and newly built purchase homes. And focus government intervention on the housing market to build more and faster. That really helps.”
De Jonge wants to protect the “quality of life and vitality” of smaller municipalities, in particular, with this measure. He believes it is crucial for this vitality that people can continue to live in their village if they want to move. “The revision of this law gives municipalities more control over this by being able to allocate more homes to residents from their own municipality,” De Jonge said when presenting the proposal to parliament on Tuesday.
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.