Open letter to House of Representatives against Koerhuis motion


It is with great concern that we have taken note of the motion by VVD MP Daniel Koerhuis, who calls on the government to find ways to include incentives in the landlord levy for 2019 to encourage – or force – corporations to sell expensive social housing in order to to finance the construction of cheaper housing.


Spatial segregation, whereby the centers of the cities are only accessible to people with higher incomes or wealth and less earning and wealthy groups no longer stand a chance there, is already a major and growing problem. Due to the landlord levy, it is already very tempting for housing associations to dispose of their property in more expensive locations and to compensate for this in cheaper neighbourhoods. More expensive homes are often larger homes. Social rental homes that are now being built are often small to very small. Are tenants not entitled to a spacious home?


By including the WOZ value in the Housing Valuation System, the vast majority of social rental homes in the centers of cities already have a number of points above 143 and, according to the deceptive system of the WWS, they are actually too expensive to buy a social rental home. to be. That is absurd, because those homes were once built as social housing with the aim of protecting tenants against the excesses of the market.


New tenants with a low income have no chance in the centers of the cities. Sitting tenants in social housing want to continue living in their neighborhood and continue to rent from their housing association. In the case of new construction, the Amsterdam city council has a majority for the 40/40/20 formula: 40 % social rental, 40 % private sector rental and 20 % sale. This formula guarantees a mixed city in which all incomes can find a place.


Between 2009 and 2015, 262,000 social rental homes disappeared. The number of active home seekers in Amsterdam has risen from 47,359 in 2014 to more than 56,000 in 2016. Nevertheless, the sale of social housing is still continuing. The sale must stop! At almost all more expensive locations in Amsterdam, the number of social housing has fallen below the limit of 35 % agreed by corporations, tenants and the municipality. The VVD is now turning its attention to what is left. That also has to be sold. It is now often said in The Hague that more arrangements should be made at the local level in the construction and management of homes. The extra incentive proposed by the VVD is in that respect a gimmick, and can only lead to aggravation of the already major problems.


The centers of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht and other cities owe much of their charm and attractiveness to their mixed composition. A further elitization of those centers is a bad development. A mixed composition is also much better for the neighborhoods outside the centres. A mixed and liveable city should be the starting point for a good housing and rental policy, not the ideologically determined reduction of the stock of social rental housing that the VVD wants.


It has been agreed in the coalition agreement that the landlord levy will be maintained at the 2017 level. We are in favor of the abolition of that tax. A tax on rents is unjust and unique in the world. The VVD actually wanted to increase that levy, and is apparently still trying to make political gains through the detour of this motion. We call on you to vote against this bad motion. City centers need more affordable social housing, also accessible to middle groups, in order to remain liveable, diverse and attractive.

best regards,

Frans van Tartwijk, tenant

Baudouin Rückert, board member at tenants' association Stadgenoot

Fons Rietmeier, former corporation director

Han Wanders , President Affordable Living North initiative

Abel Heijkamp, Bond Precaire Woonvormen

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