An important requirement for new houses to be built in the region is that they should be affordable for many. For example, there is a great need for technology workers, who will need homes. Eindhoven Mayor Dijsselbloem emphasised this on Sunday in the TV programme Buitenhof.
“It is my task to make Brainport work for everyone”, Dijsselbloem says, but the cooperation between 21 regional municipalities and the 6,000 tech companies is vital if we want to find a solution. A solution for the growing housing shortage is a top priority.
More than 60,000 homes
And those plans are there, says the mayor. For example, he mentions Eindhoven’s station area, where there will be substantial additional construction. However, it is not only the city that must offer solutions, but also the surrounding towns. “In the 21 municipalities, more than 60,000 homes must be added. We are doing it together in the region, with all the other municipalities.” Presenter Twan Huys expresses his surprise at the large number of new buildings: “So you practically need an extra city!”
San-Francisco, known for Silicon Valley firms such as Apple and Google is an example where the tech success caused it to become a city for the rich. This situation can be avoided in Eindhoven, the mayor believes. Dijsselbloem: “Silicon Valley shows us what to avoid. To make sure we do better, we also need support from the state. For example, we just got a package to keep this urbanisation livable.”
According to Dijsselbloem, 60 per cent of the additional people needed in the tech sector are vocational college graduates. “So we not only have to build, we have to build affordably. We have to make sure that the city is affordable and accessible to people with a practical tech background”.
Off the couch and off to work
There are also believed to be some 40,000 people in Eindhoven who might be called ‘unused labor potential’. These are people who are now sitting at home doing nothing, but could very well fill a job with a technical company. “Those people already have homes. They already live here”, says Dijsselbloem. If the city persuades those people to accept a job, more residents will automatically benefit from economic prosperity.
When asked what Eindhoven will look like in ten years if it were up to the mayor, Dijsselbloem replied, “Then we will still be top in terms of technology and knowledge, but Brainport must work for everyone, that is our ambition.”
Translated by: Anitha Sevugan