Affordable housing problematic is to be answered

TOWN PLANNING
Spotted in @trends

The residential real estate market is overheating. Purchase and rental prices are increasing. The supply of affordable and high-quality housing is inferior to demand. Young people in particular are having a hard time with this booming real estate market. The share of the 21 to 35-year-olds who took out a mortgage loan last year remained stable at 35%, but mainly because most of them are receiving a financial boost from family when buying a home. Without that support for many – even double-income – couples, house-buying would remain a dream.

How about then building more homes? Easier said than done. Building land is scarce in Flanders and the government is rightly investing in development projects encouraging the rehabilitation of abandoned sites in city or village centres. But such projects are extremely complex and governments often need a lot of time to assess permit applications for large construction projects, which means it takes a long time before a project can begin to be realised.

Davy Demuynck, CEO of developer ION, sees the benefit of giving priority to the permit process for residential real estate projects which include a larger percentage of affordable and sustainable homes: “As a project developer, we fully understand that it is not always easy for the government to assess large construction files, but if we want to work together on affordable housing and make it a real priority, then the permit procedure may have to be adjusted. We are arguing for faster permit processing for high-quality projects that also invest heavily in a good social mix, by providing a larger percentage of affordable housing”.

The problematic related to affordable housing will be debated Wednesday 22/09 during Realty Summit.

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