What are housing associations?

A housing association is an organization that manages, builds and rents out houses. They have no profit motive. They aim to offer affordable rental properties for social reasons. There are different names for housing associations, which always mean the same organizations. Other common names are: housing foundation and housing association.

Tasks of a housing association

Their main duties are renting out houses for acceptable amounts. They also have broader tasks, for example they must also take care of the maintenance of the houses and they build new houses. They provide an affordable home for those who do not have the opportunity to release a lot of money every month. The so-called social rental properties. In addition, they must ensure that the neighborhoods remain livable.
In the last decades they have sold off many rental properties by selling them. In particular, it is attractive for tenants to buy their own rental property. The discount they get can run into the tens of percentages. The corporations can invest this money in maintenance and new construction.

Supervision of housing associations

The housing associations are under internal and external supervision. Internal supervision consists of the supervisory board that may have been established, or the supervisory board. The external supervision is carried out by the CFV (Central Housing Fund). All active housing associations are known to this external supervisor. It is not for nothing that supervision is so strict, because real estate trading involves large amounts.

Where are the rights and obligations of housing associations laid down?

The rights and obligations derive from the Civil Code. The supervision of the performance of the tasks of the housing corporations is regulated in the Social Rental Sector Management Decree.

The assets of housing associations

They do not have a profit motive, but in practice they have a lot of hidden property. This is mainly caused by the development of house prices. The rental houses that have been in their possession for a long time now have a considerable surplus value. They can also have a large callable assets, but this money cannot leave the corporation. On the other hand, they also have reserves that they have to use for maintenance of the rented houses.

Are housing associations funded by the government?

No, not in principle. They must be able to finance their work by renting out the houses. The money matters are checked very well.

History of housing associations

The first housing association is the Vereeniging for the Workers Class in Amsterdam (VAK), founded in 1852 in Amsterdam. This was established for social reasons. VAK was established to be able to do something about the prevailing housing shortage and the poor housing of workers and their families. Twenty wealthy citizens have each contributed 2,000 guilders to the corporation, and this is how the first housing corporation was created. They would receive a maximum of three percent return on the money invested.
In 1853 the first houses were built on the Oostenburgerstraat street in Amsterdam. In thirty years they have built 800 houses in Amsterdam. The rent amounted to 1/6 of the wages of the tenants. The initiative was taken over by several cities in the Netherlands.

Video: Housing associations explained in our residents words (April 2020).

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