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Housing sector welcomes Amsterdam's 'Sustainable recovery plan'

Published on 26-10-2020
At the presentation of the Budget 2020, Amsterdam also launched a 'sustainable recovery package' with measures that should contribute to employment and to the sustainability of the city. 78 million euros will be released to accelerate investments in solar panels, insulation and the natural gas-freeing of homes. The amount is not exclusively intended for housing corporations, but the vast majority will find its way to housing corporation projects. Egbert de Vries, director of the Amsterdam Federation of Housing Corporations, also expects this. He welcomes the new fund.

De Vries: "We are running up against our financial limits in all sorts of areas. Sustainability is not our top priority, but we always take it with us when we have to work on a building anyway, so usually during renovations. Sustainability is our priority. a cost item, so it helps if the municipality contributes. Then we can highlight investments. "

Eligible for the renovation subsidy are simple insulation measures prior to connection to the heat network, as well as renovations to make old homes future-proof. Most of the money (50 million euros) will be made available for the heat transition. The municipal contribution from the Climate Fund is intended to speed up the connection of many thousands of homes to the heat network. "In 2021 we will connect approximately 1,000 homes to the heat network," the municipal document promises.

For the corporations, connection to the existing district heating is and will remain the obvious alternative to natural gas. De Vries: "This is a proven solution, it is affordable and it is already available in areas where corporations have many houses. Moreover, it leads to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the current boilers and stoves based on natural gas. " The extra subsidy of 50 million euros is only used for an area-oriented approach and is then available to all homeowners in the area.
Impact of cuts?

De Vries cannot properly estimate what the substantial cuts in the civil service apparatus will mean for the housing sector. There are two sides to the reduction in the process costs for spatial plans: "On the one hand, dozens of internal committees now sit to assess all plans and keep each other working. That stops and creates all kinds of extra, and extra-statutory, requirements. On the other hand, we are already experiencing delays due to insufficient skilled staff to draw up long leases in time. Many civil servants are of course doing very useful work. It is not to be hoped that, as in the previous crisis, fewer projects will be taken up now. has been gigantic. But I am also very concerned about cutbacks in healthcare. Many of our residents rely on this. I see that the municipality is really trying to spare that sector, but at some point the stretch will be gone. You can already see the first signs of this. It will have an impact on our residents or on certain initiatives. "
Source: 23th of october 2020