A proposed amendment to the law should make it possible for municipalities to give priority to their own residents. An amendment to the Housing Act is currently pending consultation, which means that stakeholders can give their advice on it. If the bill is passed by parliament, municipalities will soon be able to allocate 30 percent of new-build homes up to EUR 355,000 – so-called social housing – to buyers with an “economic or social bond” with the municipality.
The introduction of a priority arrangement has always been controversial, because it goes against the fundamental right to free establishment. Currently, only municipalities on the Wadden Islands can exclude buyers from outside, and other municipalities must have compelling reasons to limit the right to free settlement through allocation rules.
Outgoing minister Kajsa Ollongren (Internal Affairs, D66) previously called it “a bottleneck” that municipalities cannot give priority to their own residents. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior says that the right to free establishment is not at stake. In the explanatory memorandum to the bill, an appeal is made to the public interest in combating the scarcity of housing. Professional groups with a ‘vital importance to local and regional society’ will be given priority in the bill. In addition, municipalities can draw up further conditions for target groups.
From a tour of de Volkskrant It turns out on Thursday that municipalities are very much in favor of the proposed amendment to the law. They indicate that they have to deal with many buyers from the Randstad, who have often sold their houses with a considerable surplus value, and who subsequently outdo residents from municipalities outside the Randstad on the housing market.
PvdA alderman Songül Mutluer of Wonen in Zaanstad outlines the problem in the NOS Radio 1 News: “We have many people from Amsterdam who sell their houses for a very large amount and can then make a high offer in Zaanstad. This puts starters who would like to continue living in their own municipality in a pinch.” In Zaanstad, Mutluer already introduced the option of giving its own residents priority over social housing through the Spatial Planning Act.