A mixed group participated in the online session on Monday January 11. Both deputies (candidates) and aldermen, directors of companies and organizations in the social field, representatives of tenants’ associations, the police and a construction company. They were visible on a big screen in the studio, where Aedes president Martin van Rijn described the main challenges and moderator Rogier Elshout interviewed the attendees.
The housing shortage is a major problem, also in the north. Although the north of the Netherlands is experiencing a shrinkage, many people are waiting for a house because the houses are often not suited to their situation. In order to speed up new construction processes, it is important that new solutions fit more easily into government models.
Exceptional in collaboration
Quality of life also demands attention, both in cities around vulnerable people and security, and in villages as facilities are difficult to maintain. Everyone must contribute to it from their own field of tasks. And this is already happening: the North excels in collaboration. This is evident from the diverse group that already manages to get together during the dialogue session and many good examples of projects, but also from the fact that 80% of social work in neighborhoods and villages is carried out by volunteers. However, these are mostly people over 60 – so that’s a point of attention at the same time.
Get off the gas
In addition, participants know all about the issue of sustainability. It is not a question with the earthquakes in Groningen that we have to get rid of the gas. The housing stock is aging. However, transformation is more difficult than new construction. Collaboration is also essential. Martijn van Rijn underlines that cooperation is in the genes of companies: they do everything for and with the inhabitants and collaborate with municipalities and local organizations in the field of care and well-being.
During this constructive session, it turns out that everyone involved wants to tackle the challenges side by side. For this it is necessary that the government provide a space. Financially by abolishing the property tax and practically extending it through legislation and regulations. Martin van Rijn concludes. “If we have room, we put our shoulders together. And of course, we do performance agreements. The politicians present express their support because housing is a fundamental right.
This was the second of five dialogue sessions between businesses, politicians and other social housing stakeholders. The next one will take place on Monday January 18, 2021. See Aedes’ pledge for House of Representatives elections and the results of the dialogue session in the Amsterdam metropolitan area.