The Dutch government has signed agreements with six more of the country’s 12 provinces, outlining where new housing is to be built in the coming years.
Flevoland, Noord-Holland, Utrecht, Noord-Brabant, Limburg and Gelderland have joined the list of regions which have committed to facilitating new residential developments, as part of the government’s target of building 900,000 new homes by 2030.
The deal covering the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, for example, is for 171,000 new houses and apartments – or almost a fifth of the government’s total ambitions. In Utrecht, the deal is for 83,000 properties spread across the province.
The agreements highlight areas where large scale residential construction can be built in return for the government’s commitment to speed up the development process.
‘We are asking the government to fully commit to solving these bottlenecks, where the state has a role,’ said Haarlem housing chief Floor Rodune, who also chairs the MRA housing committee. ‘That be done by rule changes or by providing extra financial resources.’
Housing minister Hugo de Jonge has already pledged to remove the bottlenecks to housing construction such as restrictions relating to nitrogen-based pollution, mobility, the shortage of electricity grid capacity and local objections.
However, the construction trade economic institute EIB warned earlier in March that eight of the 12 provinces will have to speed up their residential development plans if the government is to meet its target of 100,000 new homes a year.
In particular, Zuid and Noord-Holland, Utrecht and Gelderland need to do more, the EIB said. The five big Holland Metropole cities are located in these four provinces.
By contrast, the more rural provinces actually built more houses than needed to meet government targets. This, the EIB said, maybe due to the pledge to ensure two-thirds of all new homes are classed as affordable – either rent controlled or owner-occupied.
It is more complicated and expensive to build affordable homes in the central urban belt of the Netherlands known as the Randstad, than in rural areas, the agency said.
The impact of the recent provincial elections on the government’s housing plans remains to be seen. Work has now started on forming 12 new provincial councils, all of which are likely to include new party BBB, which supports high rise developments in urban areas rather than in green belt land. The pro-farmer BBB was the big winner in the March 15 vote.