It is high time that politicians in The Hague ‘put their feet up’ and quickly form a new cabinet. It must ‘tackle the real problems facing the Netherlands’. This is what Mayor John Jorritsma of Eindhoven says. He refers to, for example, the housing shortage, which his city has been struggling with for years.
Eindhoven wants to build numerous new homes: “We have a huge task to realize homes, four thousand homes per year until 2040, these are immense numbers”, Jorritsma says in the radio program Spraakmakers, on Radio 1. And of course, all those homes also need roads and other facilities for the people who come to live there.
The Eindhoven mayor needs help with that, from the state. “I can’t pay for this from just the proceeds from the municipal taxes.” For four years now, the Eindhoven mayor has discussed with the state. “But until now I have only had pocket money.” To his great frustration: “That’s how you put the whole thing down.”
Eindhoven region badly needs a large number of homes. This is because of the many technical companies in the Brainport region. “ASML, Philips, Signify. Those companies function very well. But they also attract a lot of people who need to come and work.”
3,500 people working in ASML need to be housed in six months. It is essential to have those people working in this region. Only then the Brainport shall stay as the smartest region, the mayor argues.
To train them here in the region, for example at the TU in Eindhoven, would be good the mayor thinks. “It is strange that we have to impose a maximum number of students on training courses. It is how we earn. But we can no longer facilitate people.”
Some pretty unorthodox solutions are already being devised. “We ask people: when your kids are out the door, would you possibly like to have a room for a student?”
In order to ensure that money from the state comes in to reduce the housing shortage in Eindhoven, the first thing that needs to happen is a new cabinet. “We are missing all kinds of ministers now. That’s really a concern.”
Translated by: Chaitali Sengupta who also gives online INBURGERING classes.