Unbalanced growth in the housing market

News - 16 December 2021 - Communication BK

On Tuesday 28 December, Marja Elsinga, Professor of Housing Institutions & Governance, will take part in the television programme 'Scheefgroei in de woningmarkt' by BNN/VARA, moderated by Jeroen Pauw. The programme focuses on the current imbalance in the housing market: on the one hand, people with one or more houses benefit from the high price increases, on the other hand, more and more people cannot find a place to live or are forced to rent very expensive houses. During the broadcast, Marja Elsinga analyses the current imbalance and discusses a number of solutions. 

Marja Elsinga: "Housing is a human right and its care is enshrined in the Constitution, but at the same time houses are investments on which profits are made. This duality of housing calls for appropriate housing concepts and a strategic housing policy that prevents further distortion and abuse of the current scarcity at the expense of tenants." Elsinga advocates a more strategic housing policy that does not hinder promising initiatives. Because housing has become more expensive, society and the building sector are responding to this with new housing concepts such as modular construction, housing corporations and buy-and-rent constructions. A more strategic housing policy should better facilitate these concepts. 

In addition to new construction, better use of the available living space also offers perspective: compared to Europe, we live on average larger, about 65m2 compared to a European average of 43m2. Better use includes transforming (residential) buildings into flats or group homes. Strategic new builds for the elderly can also stimulate through-flow in the housing market, allowing older people to leave their larger homes for families. 

According to Elsinga, it is important to treat tenants and buyers equally and to prevent usury at the expense of the tenant. This requires investment in the social rental sector and therefore, according to Elsinga, the abolition of the 'rental charge' (veerhuurdersheffing). In the private rental sector, a balance between tenants and landlords is crucial, and so is regulation of reasonable rents and good landlordship. 

More information

Professor Elsinga is chair of the 1MHomes project of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.