Flexible homes and building in the green zoom of Haarlem: solutions for the construction dip?

The fact that the ambition of ten thousand new homes in Haarlem before 2030 is under pressure does not come as a surprise to the opposition in the city council. “It was an impossible task,” says Moussa Aynan of Jouw Haarlem. Once again he hammers home flex housing and building in the green zone around the city. “Especially now that the new provincial administration offers space to build on the edge of built-up areas.”

Haarlem has been opting for years, with GroenLinks, D66, PvdA and the CDA at the helm, not to build on that green border around the city. “You have always been deaf to that option,” said Moussa Aynan of Jouw Haarlem once again in the committee meeting of the city council.

Moderate progress in construction of new homes

The annual progress figures of Haarlem’s ambitious building plans are on the agenda and those figures look good not rosy out. Developers are hesitant to proceed with their construction plans now because of an imminent economic crisis and high interest rates.

As a small party, Jouw Haarlem has been a voice in the desert for years when it comes to alternative solutions for the enormous housing shortage in the city. The waiting lists for rental homes are long, people with middle incomes cannot move on from their starter homes due to the high house prices and more and more status holders have to be housed in Haarlem. Those problems are no different from elsewhere in the Netherlands, but Haarlem is now struggling with a petrified city that is bursting at the seams.

In his search for alternatives to building up the city, the council member of Jouw Haarlem feels supported by the coalition agreement of the new provincial government concluded last week. It is allowed to expand outside the city, on the edge of the development of a residential area, and even more provincial money is made available for this.

For alderman Floor Roduner, this is not immediately a reason to suddenly allow neighborhoods in the green periphery. “You can’t just start building in a meadow.” He wants to preserve the greenery that is still around Haarlem as much as possible. He also points to the additional costs for the municipality. Because the construction of extra roads and facilities, such as shops and schools, also costs a lot of money.

Flex homes by Hugo de Jonge

The opposition in Haarlem is a thorn in the side of the opposition in Haarlem that there are still a thousand flexible homes ready unused, which Minister Hugo de Jonge makes available to municipalities as emergency homes. Councilor Aynan is again the initiator in this regard. “Call Hugo de Jonge. That those flex homes can come to Haarlem. Then we help urgent seekers find a home, such as status holders, Ukrainians and people who have to live in reception locations due to stranded relationships.”

For the time being, Aynan does not get the majority of the city council in this. Coalition party PvdA sees more benefit in tapping into subsidy pots made available by the government, such as the Start building impulse with which a quarter of a billion can be distributed among Dutch municipalities. And that party also wants to free up more money in its own budget. Motions on this will be tabled during council meetings on the Framework Memorandum, which will start last evening.