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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2008): Social housing - overseas

On priority and progress: forced residential relocation and housing chances in Haaglanden, the Netherlands

R. Kleinhans and W. van der Laan Bouma-Doff

Housing Studies, vol. 23, 2008, p. 565-587

In 1997, the Dutch government launched an ambitious programme for the redevelopment of early post-war neighbourhoods, in which low-cost social rented apartments dominated. Demolition, sale or upgrading of the social rented housing and the construction of new owner-occupied dwellings created mixed communities, but forced many households to move. This paper reports the results of empirical research into the housing chances of families confronted by forced relocation in the Haagenlanden region. The research analysed the housing allocation data for the region and two cross-sectional surveys of forced movers in the Hague (the main city). Results suggest that, despite the priority given to households forced to move in the social housing allocation system, the chances of regular, non-urgent house seekers have not been adversely affected, thanks to a substantial programme of new building. Moreover, many forced movers reported relocating from unpopular social housing to larger and higher-quality dwellings.

Tenant participation in the Netherlands: the role of laws, covenants and (power) positions

H. Kruythoff

Housing Studies, vol. 23, 2008, p. 637-659

Dutch national policy has strongly promoted resident participation in recent decades and the government has provided a legal framework for tenant participation. The letter and the spirit of the law introduced in 1998 aim to increase tenants' influence on their landlords' decisions about their dwelling and its surroundings. However, this case study of the practical outworking of a formal participation agreement between the Rotterdam housing association and its tenant organisation shows that the landlord still has the final say and tenants' successes tend to be confined to non-contentious issues.

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