Eindhoven politicians: ‘Housing must be prority’

Eindhoven politicians take stock: 'Housing must be in place 1, 2 and 3'
Photo credit: Gemeente Eindhoven/Studio040

The Eindhoven city council is halfway through the journey. A good moment for coalition parties D66 (democrats) and PvdA (labour party) and opposition parties VVD (people’s party for freedom and democracy) and SP (socialist party) to take stock. Conclusion: housing construction must be given even more priority.

The positive feeling predominates among the coalition parties. “Considerable steps have been taken in the past two years. The economy is doing well and there is recognition for the city from both The Hague and Brussels”, Jorien Migchielsen, party leader of D66, says. PvdA vice-party leader Tjeerd Ritmeester agrees. “We matter. Not only in the Netherlands, but also in Europe. We are growing and prospering, partly due to the expansion of ASML. This creates jobs and prosperity”.

The recognition they talk about is underlined when the Dutch government announces a billion-dollar investment in the region. Under the name ‘Project Beethoven’, €2.5,000,000,000 will be invested in the Brainport area until 2030. The national government, the province, the municipality and the regional business community help pay.

Top position

The enormous sum of money is needed to, among other things, facilitate the expansion of ASML. The chip machine manufacturer wants to double its size and therefore wants 20,000 extra jobs in the city. Eindhoven must maintain its top position worldwide in the high-tech manufacturing industry, the directors believe.

For VVD fraction leader Lex Janssen it was a historic decision. “I include the decision in the municipal council on the expansion of ASML among the largest dossiers. This decision is on the same level as the purchase of Wielewaal estate. That was also a crucial decision that we made as a city”.

SP fraction leader Murat Memiş is less positive about the expansion of the tech giant. “This board is for large companies such as ASML. All those multi-year plans are great, but the resident of Eindhoven has to deal with today’s problems”. He believes that the city council should pay more attention to this in the next two years.

Construction ambitions

The scale jump that Eindhoven is experiencing also brings concerns. The housing shortage in particular is a major problem in the city. The city council has failed to eliminate a significant part of the deficit in the first two years of administration. The construction ambitions have not been achieved for two years in a row.

VVD fraction leader Lex Janssen is surprised about this. “I see that in some places in the city large new construction projects are successful and in other places not. How is that possible? I then notice that housing construction is divided among several administrators”. The SP is also critical of this issue. “It is difficult to assess the performance of the Council, because few concrete steps have been taken”, Memiş says. All four parties agree that housing construction should also be at the top of the priority list for the next two years. “In place 1, 2 and 3”, Janssen concludes.

Social city

Memiş calls for more action to show the social face of the city: “We must do more for our residents, especially now that we have the money. The council should not be afraid to make decisions about this”. The SP member hopes that concrete steps will be taken in the next two years to tackle the housing shortage. The social domain remains a point of concern for Migchielsen. “We have to simplify it”, she says. The council’s ambition to have this arranged by 2026 will not be achieved. “According to the current timetable, that will be 2028, which I still think is reasonable”.


The number of people on social assistance (6,500) remains the same and, according to VVD fraction leader Janssen, that is really disappointing. “The council would map the labour potential of at least 2,000 people this year. We only know about 1,300 and that used to be 1,400”. He wants a more concrete approach to help the unemployed.

“The establishment of Brainport voor Elkaar foundation (Brainport for each other foundation) is a milestone and the first results of projects that fell under it are already visible. For example, tackling debt problems”, Migchielsen says. According to Ritmeester, the story of ‘social Brainport’ is an important step, just like the energy surcharge that went to 130 per cent for low incomes. “But more is needed…”

Money box

Financially speaking, things are going quite well in Eindhoven, according to the PvdA member. Economically, things are going well. There is a savings pot and Eindhoven has no deficit in the multi-year budget. Ritmeester therefore calls on the city council to be less conservative when it comes to expenditure over the next two years. “We have to have self-confidence. Making major investments in the city, especially in times of major challenges such as the jump in scale”.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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