Five questions about Brabant housing

House under construction Picture courtesy Omroep Brabant /Tessel Linders

The housing shortage is serious. Waiting lists for a social rental home are endless and affordable owner-occupied homes are hard to find. In the coming years, the province of North Brabant will build 130,000 homes. Nice plans, but will they become reality?

Four regional housing deals have been concluded. Agreements have been made about what kind of houses should be built. It has also been agreed on how many social rental homes a municipality must have. Municipalities that are below 30 per cent have to build more. Municipalities that are above this percentage build more for middle incomes. Forty per cent ‘affordable’ must be built. According to deputy Ronnes (housing) ‘a bitter necessity’.

How did the housing market get to this point?

“The last backlogs actually arose between 2008 and 2015”, explains Ronnes. In 2008 we had a financial crisis in which the housing market collapsed. Subsequently, malpractice at corporations came to light and strict rules were imposed on them, limiting their options. “The entire construction cycle came to a standstill until 2018. That’s where the backlogs come from and our growth is much greater than planned. We saw it coming, now we really have to get to work”.

Will the permit stop* in Brabant throw a spanner in the works?

“It has not become easier to achieve the goals, but there are really a lot of places where we can just move forward”. The fact that it is becoming more difficult is also because permits are required for large projects. According to Ronnes, this should be carefully looked at. “So see if we can build in those places in such a way that we have zero emissions. With other building materials, emission-free construction with electric tools.”

Are we going to make it at all?

“There is very strict management at the construction sites. A lot is invested in the production of homes that are already finished, the prefab homes. We have already shown that we can build 14,000 homes in a year, why shouldn’t we keep up the momentum”?

How ‘affordable’ are these houses?

We are going to build for the mid-rental and 40% affordable purchase. Upon inquiry, this concerns a rental price of around 1,000 euros per month and a purchase amount of up to 355,000 euros.

“An average young person with a good job must indeed have saved some money”, he admits. “But by also building more affordable rental homes, you can at least start somewhere. In addition, we really have to think about starter loans and other possibilities to help.” The aim is also to build owner-occupied homes that do not cost the maximum.

Will everyone have a house in Brabant after 2030 ?

We will be well on the way towards that goal. ” The concerns are in the estimates, the expected increase in population numbers. If they rise faster than expected, then those 130,000 homes are not enough”.

*permit stop: because of the nitrogen crisis, no new permits are issued for building houses or roads. (EN)

Source: Omroep Brabant

Translated by: Seetha

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