Archives for News

The Hague tags 2021 the ‘Year of the Roof’

The Hague city authorities have declared 2021 to be the ‘Year of the Roof’, with an ambitious programme to encourage landlords and home owners to make better use of the top of their buildings.

The move, backed by the city council last November, is part of The Hague’s aim to be climate neutral by 2030.

By encouraging people to install solar panels on their roofs, for example, the city will produce more renewable energy and so become a step closer to meeting green energy targets.

In addition, the city is offering subsidies for people who install green roofs, using sedum or other types of plants – and a total of €600,000 in grants is available this year. Green roofs help deal with excess rainwater as well as providing habitats for insects, officials point out.

A similar project in nearby Leiden in 2020 resulted in the placement of 2,875 solar panels and 8,400 square metres of green roofs. The budget for grants was also three times over-subscribed.

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New home sales pick up with price rises of 8.7%

The price of new homes in the Netherlands rose 8.7% in the final quarter of 2020, in line with developments earlier in the year and with existing property prices, national statistics agency CBS said in April.

In total, developers sold 10,744 newly-built homes in the final three months of the year, nearly 54% up on the same period in 2019. This was the first quarter in which more than 10,000 new home were sold since the final three months of 2017, the CBS said.

Developers sold 32,200 new homes throughout the year.

House prices in the Netherlands are rising more quickly than in the European Union as a whole, the CBS said. In the final three months of 2020, house prices rose by an average of 5.7% in the EU as a whole. Luxembourg topped the ranking, with an average increase of 16.7%.

One million homes

Earlier this year developers, construction companies, lobby groups, housing corporations and tenants’ associations in the Netherlands joined forces in an effort to tackle the chronic housing shortage.

The group says one million new homes need to be built in the the Netherlands in the next 10 years to meet demand – a call first made by the Holland Metropole alliance in 2017.

The organisations hope their plans will form the backbone of the next government’s strategy on housing.

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Will the Netherlands bring back the ministry for housing?

The shortage of housing emerged as one of the main themes in the March general election, with parties across the political spectrum calling for a greater role for central government.

In addition, several parties likely to be involved in the next coalition government have called for the establishment of a specialized ministry for housing and planning. Housing currently falls under the home affairs ministry while planning has largely been transferred to local and regional councils.

Developers, investors and local authorities estimate the Netherlands needs one million new homes by 2030 and most parties accepted this figure in their manifestos. However, experts say, this can only be achieved if a minister for housing or spatial planning takes the lead to overcome the bottlenecks in local authority planning procedures.

State control

Putting together a new coalition – which will require at least four parties – will take several months, and housing is likely to be a key issue in the next cabinet’s plans.

Here’s a summary of the positions of the main parties.

The VVD emerged as the biggest party in the March vote. The VVD does not support the re-establishment of a minister for housing, but does support giving the state more control about planning issues.

D66, the Liberal democratic party which is now the second biggest in parliament, explicitly calls for a bigger role for national government in ‘achieving our major ambitions in terms of housing, nature and climate’.

ChristenUnie, the junior party in the outgoing coalition, has calld for a more ‘integrated approach’ to housing issues.

The Labour party (PvdA) wants action to tackle property speculators, and says there should be a minister for housing and spatial planning.

The Christian Democrats (CDA) went as far as to say that there should be ‘less market, more cooperation’ in Dutch government housing policy.

In addition, there is more acceptance among the bigger parties of the need to build in green spaces. D66, for example, explicitly listed a string of potential locations for new housing, including several in the Holland Metropole area.

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Government allocates €266m to build new homes faster

Local authorities are to receive a further €266m in funding to develop 45,000 new homes, as part of the government’s efforts to eradicate the shortage of housing.

The money will be used for 30 specific projects, and is the second tranche of spending from a €1bn fund to boost the housing supply set up in 2019. In total, nearly 96,000 new homes are being partly financed via the fund.

In total, funding was requested for 53 different projects. The successful schemes are based across the country, including Holland Metropole members Eindhoven (District E) and Amsterdam (IJburg), and several in The Hague, such as the ICT Security Campus project.

Seven of the successful schemes are developments around railway stations which, says housing minister Kajsa Ollongren, offer considerable potential. In other projects, former industrial areas are being turned into residential estates.

“It is fantastic to see how everyone is committed to delivering as many homes as possible,’ Ollongren said. ‘More affordable homes are desperately needed to give starters and people with lower incomes more opportunities in the housing market.’ The extra funding, she said,  ‘is a great tool to accelerate construction at locations where the housing shortage is greatest.’

The first tranche of funding, for 27 projects, was awarded last September, also involving a number of Holland Metropole partners in the Amsterdam region, The Hague, Eindhoven, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

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One million new homes needed

Some 34 developers, construction companies, lobby groups, housing corporations and tenants’ associations in the Netherlands have joined forces in an effort to tackle the chronic housing shortage.

The group says one million new homes need to be built in the the Netherlands in the next 10 years to meet demand – a call first made by the Holland Metropole alliance in 2017.

The Netherlands will elect a new parliament on March 17 and the organisations hope their plans will form the backbone of the next government’s strategy on housing.

Current government strategy involves realising 75,000 new homes a year though new build and converting other buildings, but the target was missed in 2020 and the same will happen this year.

Greenfield sites

Much of the new alliance’s strategy involves building new housing developments on greenfield land, rather than focusing on small, inner city locations.

‘We are going to build a lot more homes in locations which are easy to develop,’ said Desiree Uitzetter, chairwoman of developers’ organisation Neprom and area development chief at Holland Metropole member BPD. ‘We are going to build mixed neighbourhoods to suit every pocket and every type of household.’

The size of the challenge ahead means that everyone involved – the private sector, local government, housing corporations and consumer organisations – will have to be involved,’ she said. ‘They are all participating, and that makes me optimistic,’ Uitzetter said.


Housing minister Kajsa Ollongren has not yet reacted directly to the alliance’s call but told newspaper Trouw in an interview that making up the shortfall in homes is a long-term project.

In total, her ministry has pumped €4bn into boosting the size of the Netherlands’ housing stock, she said.

‘The best way to eradicate the shortage is to build more,’ she told the paper. ‘That is crucial. The shortage is across the board, from social housing to expensive owner-occupied properties. We have flicked all the switches – tax, subsidies, rules and regulations – and done what we can.’

Actieagenda Wonen (pdf)

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VORM geeft invulling aan oud bedrijfsterrein

De gemeente Rotterdam heeft ontwikkelaar VORM aangewezen als winnaar voor de ontwikkeling van 167 huur- en koopwoningen op een braakliggend terrein in het zuiden van de stad.

Project Koer biedt woningen voor starters, gezinnen en senioren en heeft voorzieningen en veel groen in de Afrikaanderwijk van de stad. Deze wijk ligt dichtbij de rivier en is ongeveer 15 minuten lopen van de Erasmusbrug en Hotel New York.

“Zo kunnen mensen die net zijn afgestudeerd en sociale stijgers blijven wonen in de Afrikaanderwijk waar ze zijn opgegroeid’’, zegt wethouder Bas Kurvers (Bouwen en Wonen).

Er zijn werkplekken voor bewoners die rustig buiten hun eigen huis willen werken. Verder is er een collectieve binnentuin waar kinderen veilig kunnen spelen. In de parkeergarage op de Laan op Zuid komt een mobiliteitshub met elektrisch deelvervoer. In een bijgebouw van het complex, genaamd ‘Villa Residu’ komt een collectieve klusplek voor bewoners.

Het nieuwbouwproject KOER maakt deel uit van de ontwikkeling Parkstad, een stedelijke wijk met meer dan 1000 woningen en voorzieningen zoals een zwembad en een sporthal in het Huis op Zuid.

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VORM gives shape to Rotterdam brownfield sites

Rotterdam city council has awarded the contract to develop 167 non-rent controlled properties on a brownfield site in the south of the city to Holland Metropole partner VORM.

The Project Koer development is part of wider efforts to provide more homes for families, the elderly and starters on the housing ladder in the Afrikaander district of the city which is close to the river and just a 15 minute walk from landmarks such as the Erasmus Bridge and Hotel New York.

The project will enable people who grew up in the neighbourhood to remain living there even if their housing needs change, city council housing executive Bas Kurvers said.

The development includes one block with a transparent lobby where a variety of community activities can take place as well as communal gardens and electric shared cars. Residents will also be able to work together on odd jobs in ‘Villa Residu’, which will have a supply of shared tools. ‘Koer is about inclusive living with a Rotterdam twist,’ VORM said.

The Koer project is part of the wider Parkstad development, which will include more than 1,000 homes when completed, as well as a swimming pool and sports hall.

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More housing completed in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district

Holland Metropole partners BPD and AM have completed a new project in Amsterdam’s Zuidas business district, which provides 144 homes, as well as shops, and a car and bike park.

The Gustav was designed by Rotterdam architechts KCAP, also a Holland Metropole partner, and is spread across two buildings in the heart of the financial district.

The northern building contains 96 studio apartments and targets starters on the housing ladder, with communal areas on each floor. The southern building has 19 studios and 29 large apartments on the upper floors, which have private gardens and balconies.

The Gustav is the latest housing project to be completed in the Zuidas district, which will eventually have thousands of homes for a wide range of incomes in between the office blocks.  

‘Realising 10,000 new homes in Zuidas is a lot and it is seriously going to change the way the area looks and thrives,’ says Zuidas director David van Traa

‘But it is not just about building homes – international investors, developers, pension funds, employers – they all need an environment that is hyper-mixed, to create an area that works from both a business and a social perspective.’

Zuidas is being constructed as a complete urban district and will include schools, a library and facilities such as a health centre and cultural amenities as the residential population grows.

Photo: © Ossip van Duivenbode

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Gemeenten uit Stedelijk Gebied Eindhoven en corporaties slaan handen ineen om woningnood te verminderen

Dertien woningcorporaties in Zuidoost Brabant en de negen gemeenten uit het Stedelijk Gebied Eindhoven (SGE) bundelden hun krachten en maakten afgelopen jaar samen een plan voor een standaard sociale huurwoning.

Belangrijkste doel: lagere bouwkosten en een versneld bouwproces. Het gaat om zowel eengezinswoningen als appartementen voor 1 of 2 personen. Hiermee willen de partijen meer betaalbare, duurzame en sociale woningen beschikbaar stellen voor huurders om zo de krapte op de woningmarkt te verminderen. De komende vijf jaar moeten er jaarlijks ongeveer 200 tot 250 gestandaardiseerde woningen per jaar bij komen. Ontwikkelaars Heijmans en BAM Wonen hebben de opdracht gekregen om deze sociale huurwoningen te bouwen.

Unieke samenwerking 

Volgens Bas Sievers, directeur-bestuurder van woningcorporatie Woonpartners gaat het om een voor Nederland unieke pilot. ‘Met deze bijzondere samenwerking hebben we de toekomst van de woningbouw in handen. Samen kunnen we sociale huurwoningen betaalbaar houden en krijgen we de kans om ons woningbestand uit te breiden.’ De woningen komen te staan in de negen gemeenten uit het Stedelijk Gebied Eindhoven. In onder andere in Helmond, Geldrop-Mierlo, Veldhoven en Eindhoven zijn de gestandaardiseerde sociale huurwoningen straks te vinden.

Krapte op de woningmarkt

De economische ontwikkeling in de regio Eindhoven zorgt de laatste jaren voor extra werkgelegenheid en een positief migratiesaldo. Terwijl de effecten van de Coronacrisis nog moeilijk te voorspellen zijn, is er nu geen reden om aan te nemen dat deze trend in de komende periode gaat veranderen. Veel mensen willen in het Stedelijk Gebied Eindhoven wonen. Dit zorgt voor krapte op de woningmarkt. Om betaalbaar wonen toegankelijk te houden, staan woningcorporaties voor de opgave om de komende vijf jaar duizenden duurzame, sociale huurwoningen te realiseren. Maar de bouwkosten, beschikbare locaties en procedures vormen op dit moment de grootste belemmerende factor. In de pilot Standaard Sociale Huurwoningen gaat dat anders en is het doel juist lagere bouwkosten en een versneld bouwproces.

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Councils, developers urged to act on senior housing

The shortage of suitable housing for seniors is a major issue across the Netherlands, and many people are finding it difficult to move to smaller or more age-appropriate accommodation.

According to pensioners association Anbo, the country has a shortage of some 80,000 homes targeting older residents, the Financieele Dagblad reported earlier this month.

Anbo says the housing market is currently too geared towards family homes. ‘Society is getting older, people are living longer and that means their housing needs are changing too,’ says spokeswoman Atie Schipaanboord.

One example of the sort of housing which could be brought back are hofjes – mini developments of small homes around a central courtyard, which were popular in the Netherlands in previous centuries.

Other aspects to consider include ensuring bathrooms are big enough to accommodate both resident and a nurse, and that floors are all the same level, Anbo said.


‘Many older people want to move to an apartment, but there is often very little available in terms of location, affordability and amenities,’ Delft University professor Marja Elsinga told the paper.

This means, for example, that people remain living in family homes, reducing the availability of property for young families. ‘This is slowing down the entire housing market,’ Elsinga says. She wants local authorities to give more priority to developing affordable and suitable housing for older people.

‘And that means [councils] accepting lower land prices and developers making compromises as well,’ she says. ‘If they really want to, they can do it.’

Dutch housing minister Kajsa Ollongren told the Provada real estate fair in November that the Netherlands needs to create 845,000 new homes over the coming 10 years.

‘In 2021 there will be more government money to innovate and invest,’ she said.  In particular, the government is working to speed up decision-making about 14 major locations for residential developing, which will involve 60,000 new homes.

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