How can we solve the housing shortage?

NPO Radio 1
Erasmus School of Economics

Bas Jacobs, Professor of Public Economics at Erasmus School of Economics is a guest at NPO Radio 1 where he discusses various ways of solving the housing shortage.

High number of obstacles

Firstly, it is important to reduce the regulatory burden when building houses. According to Jacobs, if you want to build a lot of houses, you have to remove certain obstacles. ‘The supply responds very poorly to the high prices. The prices are skyrocketing and in a normal market that would mean that many people would start building. But that is not happening in the Netherlands.’ According to Jacobs, this is due to a high number of obstacles: 'That has to do with zoning plans and consent procedures, that municipalities refrain from building because residents revolt. It has to do with high requirements for new buildings, in the area of the environment or the number of social housing units. If you relax these rules, it will be easier to build.’

Building subsidy

Jacobs also recommends subsidising the construction costs of social housing. The landlord charge is being abolished, but because social rents are still fixed, it can be expensive for housing corporations to build houses. Therefore, Jacobs says, the government should subsidise construction. ‘Convert the landlord charge into a subsidy on building, so that it can be paid when they build social housing. That it's not just benevolence, but that you simply earn enough to put up a social rental house.'

Professor
More information

The full item from NPO Radio 1, 10 January 2022, can be found here (in Dutch). 

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