Back to Blog

Affordable housing experience from the Netherlands

Posted on 05-06-2024

Icon affordable-housing-experience-from-the-netherlands
Share it

The two-month secondment to the Technische Universiteit in Delft (TU Delft) was an important step in my doctoral journey as I had a chance to interview leading professors and national experts in the field of affordable housing governance. Compared to my research findings on housing affordability in post-socialist countries struggling with the specific challenges of path dependency from the socialist period, the Netherlands is considered a good example of a rich tradition and a good practise example when it comes to organising affordable housing governance.


Historically, housing associations in the Netherlands originated in the 1850s as a response to the housing crisis of the time. They were originally founded as a philanthropic endeavour by wealthy citizens to provide affordable housing for their workers and prevent the diseases that were spreading at the time. Today, housing associations are private and not-for-profit real-estate companies that operate as third sector organisations and pursue a social agenda by providing affordable housing to those in need.


This long history and knowledge of organising affordable housing through housing associations has made the Netherlands a leading country in Europe when it comes to the proportion of affordable rental housing. What I have learnt is that this model cannot be “copied” to other countries, especially not to post-socialist countries where other solutions need to be sought.


I was impressed by the long tradition of the role of housing associations in the Dutch welfare system, but also by the intensity with which they campaign and fight for affordable housing. During my work at TU Delft, a demonstration against high housing prices took place in The Hague, with hundreds of people standing up and demanding more affordable housing. Although housing prices in Croatia are quite high, both for renting and buying, there have not yet been any protests and demands from citizens against the high prices.


The valuable experience and knowledge gained during the secondment will now be translated into a research paper. Together with prof. Haffner and p.rof van Bortel, we want to understand the position of Dutch housing associations in the new economic and regulatory environment, i.e. the abolition of the Landlord Levy, and find out how important they are for achieving the national goals of building and maintaining the social rental housing sector by 2030.


Related case studies

No entries


No entries

Relational graph

icon case study Case Study
icon case study Concept
icon case study Publication
icon case study Blogposts