20 May 2022, by Victoria Séveno

Dutch Housing Minister Hugo de Jonge has unveiled plans to ensure that rental housing in the Netherlands becomes more accessible and affordable to those earning average incomes

Dutch government looks to tackle the Netherlands’ housing crisis

As the Netherlands faces a severe housing shortage, rising house prices, and an increasingly inaccessible housing market, the Dutch government is working to ensure that residents and citizens will be able to buy a house or find affordable rental housing. 

Plans have already been announced to fund the construction of over 44.000 homes across the Netherlands. Now, after rental prices reached record highs in early 2022, De Jonge has revealed plans for a scheme that should better regulate the prices of mid-market rental properties. 

“Many people cannot find affordable housing or have too high housing costs. That affects people’s livelihoods,” the Housing Minister said. “That is why more affordable homes must be built… And that’s why we regulate the mid-market rent so tenants and buyers will soon be better protected.”

De Jonge unveils plans to introduce tougher rules for rentals

Many people working in the Netherlands earn too much to apply for social housing, but struggle to afford the high rents seen in most Dutch cities or buy their own homes. Landlords of free-sector housing are able to determine their own rental rates. However, the plans unveiled by the government would introduce stricter rules for determining rents and should prevent tenants from facing extortionate prices.

Currently, a points system – officially titled the woningwaarderingsstelsel (“home valuation system”) – applies to social housing with a rental value of up to 763.47 euros a month. De Jonge hopes to increase this limit from January 1, 2024, so that properties with a value of up to 1.000 or 1.250 euros a month are also categorised as social housing and fall under the Rent Tribunal’s (Huurcommissie) remit.

In addition to reforming the woningwaarderingsstelsel, De Jonge plans to simplify the rent allowance system by introducing standardised rents and removing the current cap on rent prices so that more tenants are eligible to receive the benefit. The Housing Minister also hopes to work with municipalities to give first-time buyers more opportunities to buy property.

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