The government wants to meet people who are in financial difficulties because their rent is relatively high relative to their income. According to sources in The Hague, the landlord levy for social housing is permanently reduced by 200 million euros. Part of that amount is intended for next year‘s rents of tenants in trouble to reduce. Another part is intended to stimulate construction. The government wants to present the plans on Prinsjesdag.
Yesterday, figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) showed that since July 1 of this year, tenants have been paying an average of 2.9 percent more rent than a year earlier. That’s the biggest increase since 2014. The opposition in the House of Representatives is furious about this and blames the cabinet for paying far too little attention to the situation in which many tenants find themselves.
Earlier, the Upper House called on the Cabinet to freeze rents as of July 1 of this year due to the corona crisis. When Minister Ollongren rejected that, pleading for customisation for individual tenants, the Senate adopted a motion of censure.
“Drop on glowing plate
The Woonbond, which represents the interests of tenants, is moderately positive about the proposed measure. “It is a cautious step in the right direction,” says a spokesperson. “But the question is what this will mean for tenants. There must be clarity about which tenants are entitled to help. And a reduction of 200 million from an annual tax of 2 billion is a drop in the ocean.”
In today’s Question Time in the Lower House, Ollongren reiterated that there are many differences between tenants: according to her, there are people who can pay the rent, but there are also tenants who get into trouble.
Parliamentary motion rejected
She said that she has an eye for people who live in social housing and pay too high a rent in relation to their income, and that on Prinsjesdag she will come up with measures to accommodate this group. But she didn’t want to say how. “I’m unhappy to be here a week before Budget Day and have to talk a little with flour in my mouth, but it’s no different.”
A motion to freeze rents was also put to the vote in the House of Representatives today. Unlike in the Senate, that motion did not make it, despite the support of a large part of the opposition.