Holland Metropole partners are among the 12 real estate sector groups which have called on the government to take urgent action to tackle the country’s “huge housing shortage”.

Developers, investors, local authorities, home owners, and tenants’ organisations have signed up to a new agreement to accelerate plans to build at least 100,000 new homes a year. Housing has become unaffordable or unattainable for an increasing number of people, the organisations argue.

In particular, there is a shortage of affordable homes for people starting on the housing ladder, seniors and people in need of care. This, they say, is partly due to increased construction costs, interest rates and government policies. But at the same time, many plans for new residential developments fail to get off the ground.

“We need to combine the forces of the private sector, public housing bodies and governments,” says Martin van Rijn, chairman of housing corporation umbrella group Aedes. “We should stop waiting for each other and start working at the same time, and get locals involved at an early stage.” 

In particular, the alliance is calling on the government to reduce the options for objecting to new developments, strengthen the capacity of the administrative court system and give more weight to the interests of house hunters in planning applications. Caretaker housing minister Hugo de Jonge said last year he planned to slash red tape and limit the right to appeal. 

In addition, ensuring that one third of the 100,000 new homes each year are rent-controlled and a further third are affordable will require financial backing from the government – of between €3 billion and €5 billion a year, the alliance says.

“The money is needed to build new infrastructure and for investments creating green spaces and for climate-adaptive measures,” says Tobias Verhoeven, director of developer Synchroon, and Holland Metropole member. “Without practical and financial support in the short, medium and long term, it will not be possible to realise the required numbers of homes of the desired quality.”

The groups involved have already agreed to standardize the requirements for new buildings and to promote prefabrication and called on the government to standardise its requirements for new and affordable housing at a national level.

Last November, the government announced it had set aside €300 million to help pay for the development of 31,000 homes, 80% of which are classed as affordable.