Coalition parties against plan to give locals priority for existing owner occupied homes
Coalition parties VVD and D66 are against Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge’s plan to let municipalities prioritize locals for affordable existing owner-occupied homes. Such prioritization is justifiable for rentals or brand new homes but goes too far when it comes to existing owned homes, they said, NOS reports.
Last year, Minister De Jonge for Public Housing announced plans to let municipalities award half of all owner-occupied and rental homes to local residents or people with a crucial profession, like teachers and nurses. According to the Minister, it too often happens that people can’t find an affordable home in the city or town where they have friends and roots in the community.
For owner-occupied homes, the priority will apply only to homes that fall under the National Mortgage Guarantee scheme - homes that cost 405,000 euros or less. For rentals, municipalities can give locals priority in all price ranges, provided they can prove there is a shortage of rentals in the price range.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, will debate these plans on Wednesday. The VVD and D66 will propose an amendment to scrap existing owner-occupied homes from the priority list.
“If you then sell your house - which you worked hard for - and an alderman decides who you can sell it to,” D66 parliamentarian Faissal Boulakjar outlined this part of the Minister’s plan. “That’s just not good. It’s about people’s freedom of choice.”
VVD parliamentarian Peter de Groot worries that the measure will affect the value of a home because there will be fewer potential buyers. “People may then make a lower offer. That is really going too far.” De Groot will only agree to De Jonge’s proposal if he scraps existing owner-occupied homes from the list. “If it is not possible to remove the owner-occupied homes, we will vote against it.”
The other two coalition parties, ChristenUnie and CDA, plan to support the proposal as it is. “It’s about building a community,” CU parliamentarian Pieter Grinwis told NOS. “We shouldn’t just leave it to an individual who can offer the most and thus pushes the locals away.” He called the VVD and D66’s objections “typical liberal individualism.”