11 April 2022, by Victoria Séveno
A housing association in The Hague has come up with a unique solution for combating the Netherlands’ housing crisis: play matchmaker and pair up single people who are looking for love. Once happily coupled up, they’ll move in together – thus freeing up a house or apartment for somebody else.
Could pairing up singles help solve the Netherlands’ housing crisis?
“Are you single and looking for your true love?” Staedion asks on its website, pointing out that a number of the housing association’s single tenants live in rentals that are large enough to accommodate a loved-up couple. “By connecting single residents from The Hague region, we want to make you happy in love and promote the flow in the tight housing market. Because for every two singles who move in together, a (social) rental home is left behind.”
Staedion is looking to host a matchmaking event for people of all ages, allowing them to meet new people and perhaps find a new roommate. “[The housing shortage] is a complex problem that affects all of us,” spokesperson Priscilla Bossaert told EditieNL. “If we can make people happy in love with this, that is of course a nice side effect.”
Dutch government struggles to tackle housing shortage
The inaccessibility of the Dutch housing market is no secret to anyone living in the Netherlands. With students struggling to find accommodation and prospective first-time buyers facing rising house prices and an increasingly competitive market, pressure is rising on municipalities and the Dutch government to come up with solutions for the national housing crisis.
While a number of Dutch cities and municipalities recently introduced a new law that protects the housing market from investors and property developers and the government has announced various investments into the construction of more affordable housing, associations and agencies are starting to propose their own solutions.
Whether these rather controversial and unique ideas will have any real impact on the housing market remains undecided, but Bossaert emphasised that the main goal of Staedion’s campaign is to raise awareness about the crisis: “If we get good matches…that’s a nice bonus.”