The Hague worried about financial future of social housing corporations
The municipality of The Hague is calling on Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge to quickly present a support package for housing associations. According to Councilor Martijn Balster (Public Housing), The Hague's housing associations are under severe financial pressure and will not be able to handle the investments required in the coming years.
The alderman refers to the new financial calculations of the so-called National Performance Agreements (NPA). These are earlier commitments by the companies to invest heavily in sustainability and new construction up to and including 2030. "In terms of investment capacity, companies in the Haaglanden region perform the worst of all urban regions in the Netherlands. Combined with the large construction, maintenance, and sustainability tasks the city has, this will lead to major problems in a few years."
Balster fears that the homes that thousands of people so desperately need will not be built or renovated if financial support is not coming soon. He calls it a "housing crisis in The Hague." To tackle this, a "massive financial support package" from Minister De Jonge would be needed.
Housing associations all over the country have many plans to build new rental housing in the coming years and make the housing more energy efficient. Across the Netherlands, they are currently able to fund these plans just fine, the housing association Aedes reported. The biggest bottleneck is the availability of building land, according to the housing associations.
In the longer term, however, the associations could find themselves in a financial squeeze. Indeed, the NPA calculation commissioned by the ministry and Aedes shows that loans will become more expensive due to increased interest rates and further increases in construction costs. As a result, investments in social housing totaling €86 billion would be needed up to and including 2030.
"Additional measures are needed to maintain investment in new construction and sustainability," Aedes said. According to the association, Minister De Jonge has also recognized the problems and will look for solutions.
Reporting by ANP