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Real Estate Investors and Housing Associations: A Level Playing Field? The Dutch Case

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  • Hugo Priemus

Abstract

The new European Reform Treaty, which was agreed politically in 2007, includes a separate protocol which allows European member states considerable freedom to organize and run their social amenities - including social housing. It appears that housing associations are eligible for state support, but only provided certain conditions are met. This arrangement is unlikely to finally resolve the tension between European competition policy and national autonomy in social housing policy. This tension has been highlighted by a recent complaint from the Association of Institutional Property Investors in the Netherlands (IVBN) concerning state support for Dutch housing associations. This paper discusses the nature and background of this complaint. As there is still very little experience of policy or case law in this area, it is difficult to predict how Brussels will respond to the IVBN complaint. The implications of EU competition policy on the position and remit of the Dutch housing associations are still unclear. What is clear, however, is that, once again, the social housing providers in the European Union in general, and the housing associations in the Netherlands in particular, face a long period of uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo Priemus, 2008. "Real Estate Investors and Housing Associations: A Level Playing Field? The Dutch Case," International Journal of Housing Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 81-96.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:intjhp:v:8:y:2008:i:1:p:81-96
    DOI: 10.1080/14616710701817174
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