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Home News Government of Flanders calls on municipalities to build more social homes

Government of Flanders calls on municipalities to build more social homes

Published on 29/03/2012

Within the context of the so-called land and property decree, all Flemish municipalities have been asked for increased efforts in respect of additional social housing. The extent of the efforts translates as 43,000 social homes, 21,000 private properties and 1,000 social plots, which need to be completed by 2023. Many municipalities feel this is unattainably high as they do not believe to have the space for it. In an attempt to provide a clearer picture of the actual situation and the availability of building land, they can refer to the very useful Register of Vacant Parcels. The figures presently released by the office of Minister for Spatial Planning, Philippe Muyters N-VA constitute an actualised list, but this contains certain limitations. Indeed, many municipalities still have ‘obsolete’ inventories. According N-VA MP Liesbeth Homans, who requested the data, the figures show that most municipalities do in fact have sufficient space for housing and social housing. “We have always stressed that all cities and municipalities must take on their responsibilities. In other words, not only the major cities and peripheral municipalities,” Homans maintains. At present 66 of the 309 Flemish Municipalities still do not have a Register of Vacant Parcels, making it impossible for them to determine the availability of land. It’s interesting to note that 36 of the 66 have less than 3% social housing in their territory and therefore miss the objectives of the Land and Property Decree completely. “Surely municipalities with insufficient social or affordable housing should be the first to draw up such a register,” Homans adds. When the land and property decree was introduced, municipalities were also asked to indicate in their register which properties were owned by the government and which were owned by semi-public bodies, as these properties provide a very suitable option for social housing in the short term.