In the battle against housing shortages for people looking for a room or studio, it’s time for a large-scale return to the ancient landlady. This is what outgoing Housing Minister De Jong is calling for. Changing the law should remove hesitation from mortgage providers.
There is currently a shortage of only 23,000 to 24,000 student homes, but the potential for unused rooms is huge. According to the CDA Minister, there are 900,000 single people who own a house with an area of at least 90 square meters and three or more rooms. He hopes to convince people to rent vacant rooms to students. “If you have a spare room, make it available,” De Jong said. “It could be anything: the bedroom of the children who left home, the study room, or the attic room. You make the student very happy.”
This also requires resolving objections raised by some mortgage providers. If the landlady’s house is sold and there is a tenant, it becomes more difficult to sell or the value of the house decreases. This may be a reason why banks do not agree to rent one or more rooms. The Minister of the Community Development Authority wants to legally regulate the expiration of the lease in the event of a forced sale in the case of construction by the owner. “It makes sense,” De Jong says. “It is not a separate house. In this way we face the objections of most banks.”
The Minister wants to remove as many barriers as possible and hopes that municipalities will also work to promote hospitality. Next year, the ministry will also begin a campaign to put the homeowner back on the map. “We know there are a lot of unknowns, so we feel hesitant as well,” De Jong said. “Sometimes people think that they have to pay a lot of taxes on rental income, while there is a room rental scheme with the tax authorities, which allows approximately 6,000 euros per year to be collected tax-free.”
Feeling guilty with a big house
Dividing the house and hosting… The demand for people in their 60s and 70s to hand over unused bedrooms or study rooms is very high. Should these people feel guilty about living in a big house? While smaller living options are often non-existent at all. “No, not at all,” confirms De Jong. “We shouldn’t talk about it that way. What I think is important is for people to make a conscious choice. It’s good to realize that many people don’t have a home, for example many students. We lack several tens of thousands of student rooms.” The reception of Ukrainians puts enormous pressure on reception facilities. The housing of status holders is very complex. Groups that suffer a great loss, where temporary housing due to the presence of a spare room can be the solution. What I hope is that we can overcome this fear together “That we can remove barriers for people who are willing to do this. The experiences have been very positive.”
De Jonge acknowledges that this is not the solution to the housing shortage for certain groups. At the beginning of the academic year, D66, the trade organization Kences of student housing providers, CNV Jongeren and seven student organizations urgently appealed to the Council of Ministers to provide more student housing and conclude binding agreements with student cities. “We are working hard on it,” De Jong said. “The real solution is to build a lot more affordable housing at a much faster pace and with more control. Also a lot more student homes. That’s also a solution, but it’s part of a bigger package to address the housing shortage.”
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