Rotterdam has drawn up a long-term plan to improve the balance of the city’s housing supply, to reflect the changing population, which has become richer and better educated in recent years.  

‘We will improve the balance between cheap, mid-market and expensive homes, so that Rotterdammers can move within the city itself,’ says city housing chief Bas Kurvers. ‘Rotterdam needs to be a great city for people from every income group to live in, so we are working with housing corporations, developers and construction firms to make sure this happens.’

Despite the pressure on the Dutch housing market in general, Rotterdam remains a fairly affordable city to live in, but more needs to be done to boost the housing supply. Over the past two years, work has started on projects to provide 7,252 new homes and 6,100 units have just had the green light from national government for extra subsidies.

In particular, the city authorities plan to focus on more housing for young families and youngsters starting out on the housing ladder. This means, for example, that 40% of the homes being built in the Feyenoord City project will fall into the €720-€1,000 a month rental sector. The city has also reached agreement with the developers to make sure the rents remain low for the next 15 years.

In addition, officials are drawing up extra measures to encourage the elderly to downsize, and to help people whose income is above the social housing threshold to move into slightly more expensive property. This, they say, will free up more social housing for people on low incomes. Nevertheless, the proportion of social housing in the city will still be around 57% in 2030, which is more than needed for the number households who actually qualify for rent-controlled properties.

Meanwhile, Rotterdam is also starting a pilot for tiny houses and has opened applications from groups of private individuals who want to build up to 15 of the eco-friendly properties in a green part of the city’s Zuidwijk district.