Exactly which houses will be built? Nobody knows

All twelve provinces reached definitive agreements with outgoing Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge last year. More than 900,000 new apartments need to be built by 2030; At least 600,000 of these must be affordable, 290,000 for seniors and 60,000 for students.

It was already clear that there was a sharp decline in the number of building permits this year. Nitrogen, rising prices and high interest rates further complicate the housing shortage. So how is the construction itself going so far?

Nieuwsuur asked twelve how many concrete construction plans exist now and how many houses could be completed. According to the ministry, provinces are monitoring the progress of construction.

But most states say they don’t keep close track of how much they’re building and what categories of homes they’re building.

Only Zeeland and Limburg follow in terms of how much is built per category. Some have not started registration yet. North Holland, Utrecht, Friesland, Groningen, North Brabant and Gelderland refer to GIS for the overview.

However, recording the number of new senior citizens and student dormitories is still in its infancy, according to Dutch statistics. According to a spokesperson, there is no authority to register affordable housing.

Housing construction has bigger problems than lack of supervision, according to outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge. “It just takes time to create a monitor that has all the details you really need,” says De Jonge. “What I would like to see is some kind of pipeline monitor that tracks how many houses will be built in June of next year, for example.”

Housing construction incentive

The government used subsidies to accelerate the construction of affordable housing. The so-called housing construction incentive has the largest pot: since 2020, a total of 1.1 billion euros in financing has been provided to 141 construction projects spread over different rounds. An important requirement is that construction begins on time.

Nieuwsuur asked about the status of the first round of construction projects. Last September was the deadline for construction of these projects to begin. These are 27 construction projects spread across the country and consisting of approximately 50,000 apartments in total.

The tour shows 15 projects meeting their deadlines. In 12 construction projects, there are no piles on the ground yet. In Leiden, Nieuwegein and Amsterdam, projects are still delayed due to rising costs. Long-term objection procedures lead to delays in almost half of projects. Such as Schiedam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Delft.

De Jonge hopes to shorten many appeal procedures with a new law. “In the Netherlands, there is actually a situation where every angry neighbor intervenes when construction is being done in the backyard. “This shows that the right to view is more important than the right to own a home.”

According to De Jonge, the apartment hunter is left behind. “The rights of people who already own a house and complain about construction in their backyards are much better protected than people looking for a house. “We need to reestablish this balance.”

Johan Conijn, a retired professor and head of a research agency, thought the subsidy plan was a good idea from the beginning. He sees it differently now. “This was an attempt to build many houses much faster. Now we are three years later. “It is a great disappointment that almost half of these projects have not yet started construction.”


According to Conijn, Minister De Jonge does not have enough information about the problem. “The minister is just covering up the problem by being optimistic. He did not analyze the problem thoroughly enough. He did not try to solve all the obstacles that appeared to exist. You won’t be able to achieve this with just a bag of money.

De Jonge disagrees with Conijn. “The order we received has nothing to do with optimism. This is just a calculation of what is needed to alleviate the housing shortage by 2030. “We are trying to solve every problem we encounter in public housing.”

De Jonge tells his successor that continuity is crucial. “We’ve had an incredible amount recently. A foundation has been laid. “We must continue to build on this foundation.”

Source: NOS