chapter  1
30 Pages

Local policy for housing development and the residential environment

In 1989 and 1991, the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment published two reports that mark some important changes in housing development in the Netherlands. One of the two - Volkshuisvesting in de jaren ‘90 (Social Housing in the 1990s) - initiated a more market-led housing policy, and a decentralisation of competences in the field of housing. The growing independence of the housing corporations since 1989 - and especially the grossing operation as of 1 January 1995 - was an important development that followed from this report. The other - Vierde nota ruimtelijke ordening extra (Fourth report on spatial planning extra) - indicated areas where housing development was to take place in the near future. As to the increasing importance of ‘the market’ in housing development, the proportion social sector/market sector housing in new housing development was changed from around 50:50 to 30:70. Since then, private developers that had been almost absent from the Dutch market for building land started to buy land and create strategic ground reserves, thus infringing upon the unique position the Dutch municipalities had had during the last decades in this market.