Government invests in continuing to build
Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Kajsa Ollongren, is taking short-term measures for 2020 to allow the building industry to continue building during the coronavirus crisis. After all, the housing shortage is still serious and the building industry is an important pillar of the economy.
The government is doing so by investing, by boosting sustainability and by taking measures to allow building to continue. The number of new homes must continue to rise. Together with the building industry and all parties in the housing market, we are working to ensure that construction continues beyond 2020.
Minister Kajsa Ollongren: "The building industry has to keep building. There is a serious housing shortage. People need to be able to find an affordable home, both now and after the crisis. We need to learn lessons from the previous crisis, when the building industry was hit very hard and it took a long time to restore building construction production. That's why I'm introducing measures for 2020 now."
Government investment must continue and be accelerated wherever possible. For example, existing government plans and projects must continue or be brought forward. The Central Government Real Estate Agency can speed up maintenance to the tune of 15 million euros and have it completed in 2020. An investment incentive of 50 million euros from the government can support an investment volume of 150 to 250 million euros in social real estate development for schools and sports buildings.
The intention is to link renovation and maintenance to improving sustainability and taking energy-saving measures. A subsidy scheme will come into force later this year, ensuring that these projects can start this year. In addition, the joint Infrastructure Task Force set up by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and industry organisations is looking at measures that can be implemented immediately, measures that can be taken in six months' time and for 2021.
Increase in subsidy for consumers
Homeowners are being encouraged not to postpone the decision to make their homes more sustainable despite these uncertain times. For this reason, the homeowners energy saving subsidy scheme (SEEH scheme), which is aimed at insulation, is being extended. Instead of 20% of the costs, 30% of the costs will be reimbursed from 1 June to 31 December 2020.
Building industry must be able to continue building
In order to ensure that housebuilding continues, any obstacles to procedures and the implementation of plans must be removed wherever possible. Municipalities are being given additional support in issuing permits and other procedures by "flexpools" (officials with technical knowledge of planning and issuing permits). A sum of 20 million euros will be made available for this. The provision of housebuilding plots is still too often neglected, this must not be allowed to happen at times like these. Discussions are underway with municipalities on how to improve this situation.
Many regions want to prioritise housebuilding and are ready to apply for a 1 billion euro contribution from the housing incentive. There are already hundreds of millions of plans ready to be submitted. Funds from the housing incentive will be brought forward so that an additional 50 million euros will be available in 2020 and more affordable homes for starters and middle-income earners can be built even faster. Municipalities can avail themselves of the housing incentive from 1 July.
Good housing for the homeless, migrant workers and other emergency accommodation seekers has become even more important as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Good housing is needed to avoid the risk of spreading the virus. For this reason, 50 million euros will be made available from the housing incentive in 2020 to boost the construction of flexible housing. This will provide approximately 10,000 homes for these groups.