It was already known that there was a major housing shortage before the Corona crisis started. But there is finally hope to fix these soon. Currently there is a shortage of 331,000 homes and 845,000 homes will have to be built in the next 10 years to get out of the housing crisis.
The government promised to build 75,000 homes annually, but nothing came of it. So we are in a nitrogen crisis, minimal number of building permits, growing number of households and a corona crisis on top.
With the word housing shortage, there was an image in which poor families lived in one room and all slept on the floor with them. An image where newly married couples move in with their in-laws in the attic. An image in which several families lived in one house and the clotheslines hung through the streets as Christmas decorations.
The housing shortage in 2020 will look different. Families where both parents have a well-earned job and can afford something. These families have been on the waiting list for a social rental home for years or they earn just too much for a social rental home and are just unable to afford a free-sector home or owner-occupied home.
The price of an average owner-occupied home is crazy these days. In May, an owner-occupied home was on average 333,000 euros, 7% higher than the previous one. Even the corona crisis has not been able to lower house prices so far. Renting a home can cost 1,400 euros per month.
Many young people are willing to spend half of their income on housing, a ridiculous amount. Then they still find nothing. So people in their twenties and thirties linger in tiny, expensive student rooms, or move from anti-squat to temporary housing. In the long run this is disruptive to society. Housing, a fundamental right, cannot be left to the market. House prices have risen twice as fast as average income since 1970. Where does that end?
Due to this housing shortage, many people in their twenties and thirties stay in very small studios for which they usually pay too much rent, or they move into an anti-squat house. Since 1970, house prices have risen twice as fast as the middle income. Housing is a fundamental right and we should not leave it to the market.
Article 22.2 of the constitution solemnly says: “Promotion of sufficient housing is the concern of the government.” The government has clearly failed to do so. Many young people and young families are stuck and do not know whether they will ever be able to buy anything in the current housing market. Large companies buy up suitable properties and the municipalities buy up land everywhere and then do very little with it.
Since 2010 there is no longer a Minister for Housing and things have gone so wrong ever since. The current minister for housing, Ollongren and Van Nieuwenhuizen, realize that things are going completely in the wrong direction and promise to tackle the problems smartly, but they do not have a solution.
A cabinet that takes control of housing would offer a future with a better housing market.