New housing law lets municipality choose who homeowners sell to
The new Housing Act will give municipalities the power to force someone selling their home to sell to people with a lower or middle income. A parliamentary majority supports Minister Hugo de Jonge’s (Public Housing) bill, AD reports.
The idea behind this measure is to make sure people with lower incomes can find a home. Now, they often have to bid against wealthier buyers in the tight housing market. Municipalities can set this requirement on half of owner-occupied homes. The bill also lets municipalities reserve half of owner-occupied homes and rentals for their locals or people with crucial professions like teachers and police officers.
Coalition parties VVD and D66 are critical of the amendment, saying the Minister infringes on homeowners’ property rights. “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 said. “That’s just not good. It’s about people’s freedom of choice.” He also pointed out that it would create more hoops for home sellers to jump through. “What if you want to get rid of your house quickly because of a divorce?”
Pieter Grinwis of coalition party ChristenUnie called the D66 and VVD objections “typical liberal individualism.” According to him, the law puts affordable homes within reach of the average citizen. “Now house seekers in a village are being outbid by people from outside who have a lot of money to spend.”