One quarter of social housing tenants violate new income limit

According to Statistics Netherlands, more than one quarter of households living in rent-controlled properties in the Netherlands last year make too much money to qualify for social housing.

Since January 1, 2011 the European Commission has required that 90 percent of rent-controlled accommodations be assigned to households with taxable annual incomes up to 33.000 euros. About 609.000 of the 2,2 million social housing units in the Netherlands are occupied by people who exceed this limit.

The share of households violating the income limit is above average in many municipalities within the Randstad, but perhaps surprisingly within Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague themselves this share is close to the national average. In fact it is in smaller municipalities nearby these four largest cities that the share of these households is relatively high.

The municipalities within the rural, so-called "Groene Hart" region of the Randstad stand out. In almost all municipalities in this region, the share of households violating the income limit is greater than 35 percent. This is also true of a cluster of municipalities in the Veluwe.

The Dutch government has declared that the social housing sector should focus more on people who really need social housing and encourage others in the social sector to move.

Therefore, if a household has an annual income of less than 43.000 euros, the rent it pays for social housing will not rise by more than the rate of inflation. If a household earns more, the rent may increase by up to the rate of inflation plus 5 percent.

Carly Blair


Carly Blair



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