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How do I qualify for a social rental home?

Living in Haarlemmermeer

Social rented homes are cheaper rental homes that are usually owned by a housing association. They are meant to help people with a low income be able to afford to rent homes. To be eligible for a social rental home you must meet certain conditions.

Renting a house: what do you need?
So you are going to rent a property. Then you will have to deal, among other things, with registering with a housing association, the rental contract and possibly apply for housing allowance.

Conditions for social rental housing of a housing association

You must meet certain conditions in order to be eligible for a social rental home from a housing association:

  1. You must register with an organisation that is responsible for the distribution of social rental housing in your municipality. You can find out which organisation this is at your municipality.
  2. You often need a housing permit. You can request this from your municipality. The municipality may demand that you live, work or study in the place where you want to live. These rules differ per municipality.
  3. The housing corporation with whom you want to rent a house can also set requirements. For example, the amount of your income or family size.
  4. Your income cannot be too high. Housing corporations must allocate at least 80% of their vacated social rental homes to households with an income of up to € 38,035 (2019 price level). 10% may go to households with an income between € 38,035 and € 42,436 (2019 price level). And 10% can go to higher incomes.

Note: The government wants to raise the limit of € 38,035 for multi-person households (2 or more residents) in 2020 to € 42,000. For single-person households, the limit is lowered to € 35,000. This means that the Upper and Lower House still have to approve the plans of the cabinet.

Income too low for more expensive property

If you have a low income, housing associations can refuse you a more expensive social rental home. This concerns homes with rent above the so-called capping limits in the rent allowance. The capping limits are:

  • € 607.46 (2019 price level) for households of 1 or 2 people;
  • € 651.03 (2019 price level) for households of more than 2 people.

Housing associations often assign rental homes up to the capping limits to low-income households. This is an income within the income limits of the housing allowance. Housing corporations must assign a home to at least 95% of these households with a rent below the capping limit.

Income limits rent allowance

The income limits for the housing allowance in 2019 are:

  • € 22,700 for single-person households;
  • € 30,825 for multi-person households under the AOW age;
  • € 30,800 for multi-person households above the state pension age.

Urgency criteria for social rental accommodation

When assigning a social rental home you sometimes get priority. This is possible on the basis of so-called urgency criteria. Is there a housing regulation in your municipality? Then the urgency criteria are in this regulation. If your municipality does not have regulation, the (social) landlord can set criteria himself. Examples of urgency criteria are:

  • medical indication;
  • social indication (for example if your current home is too small for your family size);
  • age (for example, if your current home is no longer suitable or safe due to your (higher) age);
  • commuting distance;
  • when you leave a scarce home.