51,000 mostly affordable homes planned in fight against housing shortage

The government, municipalities and provinces are together pushing 620 million euros into quickly realizing 27 construction projects, involving over 51 thousand homes. Just under 32,600 of these, or 65 percent of the planned construction, involve affordable homes, Minister Kasja Ollongren of Home Affairs said.

Most of the approved construction plans involve homes for people starting out on the housing market and seniors. Some projects are also for student housing It involves 14 thousand social rental houses, 12 thousand rental homes with monthly prices between 700 and 1,000 euros, and 6 thousand lower-priced owner-occupied homes that fall below the national mortgage guarantee limit of 310 thousand euros.

An approved project in Amsterdam will realize the transformation of parts of Sloterdijk, while more homes will be constructed in Feyenoord City and Noordrand Zuiderpark in Rotterdam. Funding for three separate projects in The Hague includes one in the HS Kwartier.

The government is contributing 290 million euros to the subsidy, the money for which came from the Housing Incentive fund. On Budget Day last year, the government said it would make 1 billion euros available to get difficult or pricey construction plans off the ground in the coming years. This is mainly aimed at building new homes quickly – a total of 845 thousand new homes must be built in the Netherlands by 2030 to end the housing shortage.

Municipalities submitted a total of 52 construction plans, of which 27 were approved for subsidy. The conditions for approval included that at least half must consist of affordable housing, and that municipalities and provinces should bear part of the costs. Aside from the country’s three largest cities, some of the approved projects are located in the municipalities of Alkmaar, Arnhem Breda, Deventer, Enschede, Harderwijk, Hoorn, Nijmegen and Utrecht.

The projects are relatively diverse, including new construction and new uses for old facilities. “For example, an outdated shopping center in Rijswijk is being transformed into a residential-work location with 1,400 homes, 670 new houses are being built in the Nijmegen station area, and in Eindhoven, a project with 700 temporary homes,” the government said in a statement.

The first approved projects must begin by the end of 2023, though some homes are expected to be delivered next year. Developments approved for the subsidy in later rounds might not be undertaken until 2030, depending on the scope and scale of each individual project.

Many of the rejected plans can be resubmitted after some minor adjustments. The next submission round is set for end October. These rounds will continue until all 1 billion euros have been given as subsidy, money which may also be used to acquire land, relocate businesses, and redesign public areas and public transportation to fit the needs of new housing developments.

“This result exceeds all my expectations,” Ollongren said. “It is good to see that so many municipalities succeeded in submitting a qualitatively good application in a short time that passed the test. More than 51 thousand homes is a substantial contribution to make up the housing shortage. In order to give starters and people with lower incomes more opportunities on the housing market, more affordable homes must be built faster. And this is just the first part of the assignments that I will be making.”

These subsidies are intended for construction projects that are struggling to get realized due to high costs. Many of the approved plans are for urban construction projects, according to RTL Nieuws. This involves old office buildings being transformed into residential areas – a costly operation because this often involves high demolition and remediation costs. The subsidies also mean that construction can start faster – construction on most of these projects will start next year.