The major financial problems in which Vestia ended almost ten years ago seem to mean the end of that large housing corporation despite an extensive rescue operation. The social rental giant wants to split into three, as evidenced by a plan drawn up by Vestia together with housing dome Aedes. It also states that other corporations should once again — and until after 2060 — support.
The intention is that Vestia will disappear in its present form and be divided into three ‘sober and efficient’ corporations: in Rotterdam, The Hague and one in Delft and Zoetermeer. In addition, other corporations spread over a period of 40 years would have to take over over EUR 1 billion in interest payments. Consultations are still taking place with the Ministry of the Interior, supervisor Aw and WSW guarantee fund about their contributions.
In 2012, Vestia came into financial harsh weather due to major setbacks on derivatives, complex financial products intended to hedge interest rate risks. This was due, among other things, to the reckless operation at Vestia. He also accepted bribes through an intermediary, which should not have been allowed. Other corporations had to provide around 675 million euros to keep the then largest corporation in the Netherlands upright.
Despite the previous financial support and years of rehabilitation, Vestia did not find it possible to recover properly. There is still a lot of money on the high interest expenses. As a result, less money is available for, for example, the renovation of social rental housing. Nor can Vestia now set up large new construction projects, and therefore not contribute to solving the housing shortage in the Netherlands.
‘No other way’
AEDS chairman Martin van Rijn admits that it is not an easy proposal, but he sees “no other way” to get rid of the consequences of the past affair. “Ultimately, it concerns the interests of tenants,” said the industry foreman, who was temporarily Minister of Medical Care last year. He calls on the Cabinet to help, for example by reducing the tax burden on corporations. “Because, of course, it costs them all money.”
Vestia currently accounts for about 60,000 rental properties. Approximately 450 people work. What exactly the plans mean for employment is not yet clear. According to a Vestia spokeswoman, that still needs to be worked out.