To date around 9 thousand Netherlands residents reported to their housing corporations that they cannot afford to pay their rent. The housing corporations expect that number to increase in the coming period, NRC reports after surveying 197 housing corporations, which own about 1.6 million of the 2.4 million rental homes in the Netherlands.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, many tenants in the Netherlands will face rent increases as of July 1. Instead of postponing annual rent increases due to the crisis, many landlords opted for more moderate increases than usual, they said to Financieele Dagblad. But tenants' association Woonbond said it is getting reports of substantial increases.
Tenants who lost their income due to the coronavirus and measures taken to curb its spread and therefore can't pay their rent, can temporarily not be evicted, Minister Stientje van Veldhoven of Housing said in a letter to parliament on Thursday. The Minister made agreements with landlord organizations Aedes, IVBN, Kences, and Vastgoed Belang to this extent. The measure applies as long as the coronavirus crisis, NU.nl reports.
Housing corporations want to build 10 thousand temporary homes per year in the fight against the housing shortage facing the Netherlands. But to achieve this goal, procedures to build these homes must become shorter, more locations must be made available, and land prices must be adjusted, said Aedes, the umbrella organization for housing corporations, NU.nl reports.
Housing corporations are still failing to build enough homes, according to a report by the Housing Corporation Authority, part of the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate. The "State of the corporation sector" report showed on Friday that they only realized 62 percent of their annual construction plans in 2017 and 2018, NOS reports.
The report did not give a reason for these failed plans, but mentioned a number of possibilities. "Too optimistic schedules, setbacks in tenders, rapid construction costs increases and other causes can play a role," the Authority said.
An employee of Amsterdam housing corporation Stadgenoot stole millions of euros from the company, insiders told the Telegraaf. For years the senior financial worker regularly transferred between 10 thousand and 20 thousand euros into the account of her minor daughter, the newspaper writes.
The woman was caught when ING became suspicious of the transactions and notified the authorities. She used the money for gambling and luxury vacations, according to the newspaper.
The Dutch government will announce multiple measures aimed at tackling the housing shortage on Budget Day. A fund of 1 billion euros in subsidies will be created for municipalities starting new building projects, and housing corporations who build new homes will receive up to a billion euros in tax discounts. First-time homeowners may also be exempt from transfer tax, the Volkskrant reports based on sources.
Amsterdam mayor Femke Halsema and Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations signed a new Housing Deal for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area on Friday. The deal states that 230 thousand new homes will be built in the city and its surroundings until 2040, with focus on affordable housing for lower and mid-level incomes. 100 thousand of these homes will be built by 2025, the city announced in a press release.
Amsterdam housing corporations are struggling with housing fraud on a large scale. They estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of their 186 thousand homes are being illegally sublet, Financieele Dagblad reports after speaking with Ymere, Rochdale and Stadgenoot - the three large housing corporations in Amsterdam.
Tenants of social rental housing do not have to worry about any extreme rent increases in the coming years. The association of housing corporations Aedas and the Woonbond made a new social lease agreement in which they agreed that social housing tenants will not carry the costs of making their homes more energy-efficient. And rents will rise by no more than inflation in the coming years, RTL Nieuws reports.
The agreement still has to be approved by the members of both organizations.
Dutch people are increasingly frustrated by their noisy neighbors. The number of noise complaints caused by neighbors increased by 10 percent over the past three years, the Volkskrant reports based on its analysis of 500 thousand noise complaints filed with the police between 2014 and 2017.
Noise complaints from neighbors make up the lion 's share of all noise complaints filed with the police, according to the newspaper. The Dutch mainly complain about loud music in their neighbor's home or during garden parties and noise nuisance on the balcony.
Former Environment Minister Ed Nijpels presented the Netherlands' Climate Agreement to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Tuesday. This concerns the agreement in broad terms, with some concrete goals set and agreements made. The rest will be worked out and finalized later this year. The aim is to implement the Climate Agreement in 2019, NOS and NU.nl report.
The Amsterdam housing corporation Rochdale is willing to help failed asylum seekers with temporary housing, CEO René Grotendorst told BNR.
A week after the explosion on Moddermanstraat, Rotterdam, the residents can return to their homes next week, states the spokesperson of housing corporation Havenstede to rd.nl. At least 150 homes were evacuated and 150 people displaced on February 2nd.
Housing corporations are required to continue offering rental housing to families entitled to the social housing benefit. Minister of Housing Stef Blok announced on Friday that it is a legal standard that must be maintained. Blok wants to reverse the trend of more and more families with rent allowance signing expensive rental agreements, he said in a statement.
The Public Prosecutor has confirmed that Justice has offered not to prosecute the wife of Hubert Mollenkamp, the "Maserati director" of housing corporation Rochdale who is suspected of corruption, in exchange for a quarter of a million euro.
Ymere, the Amsterdam-based housing corporation, is going to evict 180 households from their social rental homes in the next five years. The reasoning behind this is that these homes will be renovated to be sold or rented out in the private sector.