A ‘matchmaker solution’ to the housing problem in the Netherlands

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With the problem of rising rental housing in the Netherlands, a housing cooperative in The Hague has tried to “matchmaking” to introduce single tenants living alone and share a flat with them.

The Housing Cooperative Stadian hosts a “Speed ​​Dating” event to introduce single tenants to each other.

Like many Dutch cities, Hague, the center of government, has a serious housing shortage. In the city, the waiting period for social housing rent is up to 7 years.

Across the Netherlands, the problem is growing because the number of new constructions is less than the need for housing.

Although most social accommodations are built for families, more and more unmarried people live alone in a 3 to 4 room home. According to estimates by the Dutch Institute of Statistics, by 2047, one in four adults in the country will be unmarried.

Stadian, The Hague’s largest housing cooperative with 37,000 homes, has decided to reunite single tenants. The houses that will be vacated as a result of the transfer of single people to each other will be given to the next need, thus shortening the waiting lists.

Organized by a professional matching agency

The matchmaker event, which was considered an “April Fool’s joke” at the time of the announcement, was held in The Hague last weekend. More than 60 single tenants attended the event, where no journalists were invited to protect the privacy of attendees.

Speed ​​Dating was organized by a professional matchmaking agency at the Hague Housing Agency headquarters. Potential matches between single applicants were made in advance.

During the speed meeting, participants had the opportunity to meet and chat with each other. “A lot of intimacy is going on. So we definitely hope that a lot of beautiful romance or friendship will start,” said Linda and Karien from Matchmaking Agency.

A spokesman for Stadian added that it was a very good event and that they would wait and see what happened next, adding that the matchmaking agency was investigating whether participants wanted to see each other again.

“A one-time event”

Stidian chairman Gizbert van Hark described speed dating as “a single, fun event that not only makes relationship seekers happy in love, but also draws attention to the housing shortage.”

In a statement to the newspaper Alzheimer’s Dogblad, the head of the cooperative said they were working hard to build as many houses as possible. “However, this is not the only solution. We also see opportunities to make better use of existing assets. By increasing efficiency. We need to overcome barriers,” he said.

This is why housing cooperatives are also working on other creative solutions to make living together easier. For example, once the relationship ends, the tenant will be able to return to their own home or rent a house with a friend.

The Hague

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The Hague

According to the agency, 2,000 tenants over the age of 75 live alone in the Hague residence. Studies show that more than half of adult tenants feel lonely.

Van Hark did not know how many homes the speed dating event would bring to the cooperative, but stressed that the more homes vacated, the more successful they would be.

In The Hague, 150,000 people are currently on the waiting list for rented social housing. Rents have also risen in recent years due to growing problems with the construction of a small number of homes.

The Dutch government will build 900,000 new homes in the next eight years to address the growing housing crisis. Preference will be given to low and middle income people in the new area.

By 2030, 350,000 out of 900,000 homes will be allocated for middle income. 250 thousand dwellings will be used as social rental houses.

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