From May 1, official property values will be less important in calculating whether a rental apartment or house should be covered by social housing rules, housing minister Hugo de Jonge has said.
Housing in the Netherlands is classified according to a complicated system based on points for size, amenities and official value (WOZ). All housing has fewer than 142 points is considered to be social – and that means the rent can be no more than €763.47 per month.
Currently, 100% of the WOZ value is used in that calculation, and that means that thousands of properties in expensive areas have been removed from the social housing system.
From May, however, only 33% of the WOZ value will be taken into account, and that, the minister hopes, will mean thousands more homes will fall into the rent controlled sector.
The minister expects the change will mean 23,000 homes which could have become too expensive will stay classified as social housing, and some 15,000 homes will revert to the rent controlled sector, when current contacts expire.
‘This measure will make sure social housing remains social housing,’ De Jonge said. ‘And this means more people and families with low incomes will be be able to get an affordable home.’
The Council of State, the government’s highest advisory body, has raised questions about the change, partly because there will be fewer houses in the liberalised sector available for people earning more than the social housing limit.
In Amsterdam, for example, it estimates 28% of non-rent controlled properties will revert to the social housing sector.
It points out that 57% of the Dutch housing stock is owner occupied, 33% is rent controlled and just 9% is available for higher earners who wish to rent.
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