Cabinet signs tight agreements with governments and housing associations for new construction

Minister Hugo de Jonge (Mass Housing and Spatial Planning) wants to make definitive agreements with provinces, municipalities and housing associations for the construction of approximately 900,000 new homes by 2030. This has been laid down in the plans for the new-build and new-build programme. † About 2 billion euros is being earmarked for this. With the plans, the minister wants to reduce the housing shortage in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is facing a serious housing shortage. According to an estimate by the Ministry of the Interior, about 280,000 homes are too few. As a result, prices – also on the rental market – are skyrocketing and startups have little chance of entering the housing market.

That is why the new cabinet wants to build about 900,000 new homes by 2030. We have to take into account the wishes of the residents. This means, among other things, that there must be sufficient affordable rental and owner-occupied homes. More than half of the new homes must belong to the social rent, medium-term rent or affordable home ownership category.

The cabinet has already designated seven areas where two-thirds of these 900,000 homes will be built: Amsterdam, Noord-Brabant, Groningen-Assen, Utrecht-Amersfoort, Arnhem-Nijmegen-Foodvalley, Zwolle and Zuid-Randstad. An additional 300,000 new homes will be built in these seven regions over the next ten years.

Additional homes are also being built in other parts of the country, but the number is lower than in the above regions. De Jonge does not only look at urban areas. Places are also suitable where there are still few homes outside the residential areas.

More control over housing plans

To make all this possible, De Jonge wants to have more say over housing construction than the ministry has had in the past. That is why strict agreements are made with provinces, municipalities and housing associations about the number and type of homes that will be built. It also wants to have legal options to ‘adjust’ if the figures are not met.

There will be 1.75 billion euros for housing plans. In addition, 388 million resources are being deployed to combat bottlenecks. The largest amount goes to what needs to be done to make all residential areas accessible: 7.5 billion.

Many obstacles to the arrival of new houses

The question is whether all this is possible. There are many obstacles. For example, the construction sector is facing a serious shortage of personnel. Building materials are also scarce, causing construction costs to rise. The minister also said that the desired annual number of 100,000 homes will not be achieved before 2024. Therefore, the lost time will have to be made up to reach 900,000 new homes by 2030.

Another problem is that it takes an average of ten years before a house is actually built, for example due to the slow decision-making process, lengthy permit procedures and local residents who want to stop the new construction in court. According to De Jonge, that period should be shorter.

This is especially important because a definitive zoning plan has yet to be drawn up for many new-build homes. This means that many plans must first be approved, or even prepared, by city councils. And then there’s the possibility that residents will still object, which could slow down in the coming years. This process should therefore be shorter, but how De Jonge had in mind is still unknown.

The arrival of approximately 900,000 homes in this decade does not mean that the total housing stock will increase at the same rate. In the coming years, approximately 120,000 homes will be demolished or declared uninhabitable. As a result, 774,600 net homes will eventually be added this decade. However, this does not mean that the housing shortage will disappear by 2030. The ministry still estimates that more than 200,000 homes will be too few, because by then the number of households will increase.

Source: NU