Christian Democrats want multi-generational homes

9th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Christian Democrats see a future with spacious homes where the entire family can live together.

THE HAGUE—Ever dreamt of sharing a house with the whole family, including your parents or inlaws? The Dutch political party CDA (Christian Democrats) wants to make this a reality by building generational houses on a large scale in the Netherlands.

According to House member Mirjam Sterk the houses will be ideal for combining work with family life. A debate with Minister Jacqueline Cramer (Vrom) on the issue of future housing in the Netherlands is on the House (Tweede Kamer) agenda today.

The CDA envisions something like this: When the kids are little, grandparents can take care of them while their parents are working. The entire family can also share in elderly care when the grandparents get older.

“Care for children and the elderly is a a big burden, and this plan can provide a solution,” according to Sterk. “Generational living is a concept for the future. It makes the combination of work and care a more feasible possibility.”

The need for volunteers who can assist in the care of elderly relatives is expected to go up in the near future. Sterk is going to ask Cramer not to implement too many building regulations for the generational houses so that building permits can be more easily issued to families. Generational houses can also be realised, according to Sterk, by joining houses, or by converting farm houses into communal living quarters.

In order to meet her goals, Sterk wants Cramer to commit to building a half million such homes by 2040. She wants "quality rather than quantity." Sterk: “We don't need another Bijlmer. Cities don’t need to be propped full with high rises. People want gardens where the children can play. They want to go outside.” She doesn't agree with Minister Cramer's view that the majority of people want to live in the Ranstad.

Sterk dismissed Minister Cramer’s ambitious plans for new city parks surrounded by high rises with the allure of Central Park in New York or Hyde Park in London. Sterk: “Dutch people want space for farmers, the middle class and country folk. We need landscape parks where farmers can feel at home, where people can live spaciously and where city people can spend their free time.”

Radio Netherlands/De Telegraaf/Lila Lundquist/Expatica

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