More affordable housing in the Caribbean Netherlands | News item

News item | 26-01-2023 | 16:14

Minister Hugo de Jonge has sent the policy agenda for Housing and Spatial Planning of the Caribbean Netherlands to the House of Representatives. The plans are aimed at stimulating housing construction, lowering rental costs, better financing of owner-occupied homes and a better protected living environment. In this way, the State, together with the Public Entities, is building affordable housing in a liveable neighbourhood.

Minister for Housing and Spatial Planning Hugo de Jonge: “For many people in the Caribbean Netherlands it is very difficult to find a house that suits their income, stage of life or family composition. These joint plans will lead to more affordable homes and a better living environment for residents of the Caribbean Netherlands.”

Tidy up the base

Up-to-date data on the housing markets of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are currently lacking. This makes it difficult to make affordable and suitable housing possible. That is why the basics must be put in order. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) will collect data on, among other things, the existing number of homes, the housing shortage and the housing needs of residents. In addition, legislation and regulations are necessary to be able to set up rent assessment committees and to realize better rent compensation, for example. These plans cost just under 20 million euros.

515 new homes

The demand for and supply of homes on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are out of balance. There is a high demand for housing for people with a low or middle income, but the supply is limited. To better balance supply and demand, the government will contribute financially to the construction of 465 social rental homes on the three islands. In addition, 50 affordable owner-occupied homes are being built on Bonaire. In order to make better use of existing homes, 100 social rental homes on St. Eustatius will be renovated. But, more is needed. Future housing projects will be laid down in 2023 in housing deals between the State and the Public Entities.

Promote affordable housing

Due to scarcity and increased prices, an affordable rental or owner-occupied home has become a matter of course for fewer and fewer people in the Caribbean Netherlands. For example, some tenants have difficulty paying the rent. To reduce the housing costs of people with a small wallet, efforts are being made, among other things, to accelerate the construction of social housing, better rent compensation and the reduction of energy costs. For example, the islands are focusing on energy conservation to combat energy poverty. Because some of the buyers cannot arrange financing for their owner-occupied home, measures are being explored to improve financing options.

Plot spatial course

The construction of homes leads to a greater claim on the available space in the Caribbean Netherlands. But infrastructure, energy supplies, works, nature, recreation and tourism also take up an increasing part of the limited available space of the Caribbean Netherlands. In order to give direction to all these spatial developments, the Council of Ministers will adopt a spatial development program in 2023. This program will then be translated by the State and the Public Entities into a specific spatial development plan for each island.

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