Dutch home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren has told this year’s Provada real estate fair that local authorities, housing corporations, construction firms and developers need to work more closely together to make sure that enough new homes are being built.

 ‘We need to create 845,000 new homes over the coming 10 years,’ Ollongren said in a video message. ‘Like this year, in 2021 there will be more government money to innovate and invest.’

 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,’ she said.

At the same time, eight of the 12 Dutch provinces are on target to develop enough homes, ‘and that is good news’, the minister said.

Challenges

Nevertheless, the challenges ahead will require a stronger real estate sector, Ollongren said. ‘Local and provincial authorities should do more to allocate land for development more quickly. Investors and housing corporations should ensure there are enough affordable homes. Developers will have to do their best to create sustainable and attractive locations while builders will have to build both quickly and to innovate.’

Henk Jagersma, who heads the spatial planning department at Amsterdam city council, said in a video debate following the minister’s speech that the current government has worked hard to put housing on the agenda.

‘But are they doing enough to restore the balance in the housing market?’ he said. ‘Can we do more to speed up the processes and solve issues such as nitrogen compound pollution and noise?’

Peter Kievoet, Director of Economic affairs, Mobility and spatial planning in The Hague told the debate he and other local authority officials would like to see more tailor-made solutions for particular housing crisis problems.

‘This is not just about the home affairs ministry, but about other ministries, about national government in general,’ he said. ‘I have completely different discussions at the home affairs ministry than I do with farm ministry officials.’

The need for the big Dutch cities to work closely with developers and investors is one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Holland Metropole project.