12 August 2021 | 3 min.

Making an impact for affordable housing

The affordability of rental residential dwellings in the Netherlands is under serious pressure. The ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund has a clear view on the importance of affordable housing and has designated affordable housing in the non-regulated segment as one of its main strategic pillars. We discuss the commitment of the residential fund of a.s.r. real estate to make an impact through the addition of affordable dwellings to the rental market.

The Dutch residential rental market is dominated by the publicly funded housing corporations, which own around 70 percent of all rental dwellings. The remaining 30 percent is non-regulated and owned by private individuals (25 percent) and institutional investors (5 percent). Parties in the non-regulated segment determine their own rental policies. The past couple of years have seen more and more government intervention in this non-regulated segment, as a result of pressure on the affordability of rental dwellings. Institutional investors acknowledge the pressure on affordability and have marked this topic as a high priority.

Focus on affordability

The ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund is one of the institutional parties with a clear view on the importance of affordable housing. The fund has designated affordable housing in the non-regulated segment as one of its main strategic pillars. To make a significant impact, the ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund focusses on dwellings with rents between €752 (liberalised rental treshold) and €1250 a month. In this range the middle-income tenant category is served, based on our allocation criteria and the definitions formulated by Statistics Netherlands.

Currently, about 87 percent of our portfolio falls within the defined rental range. During the period 2021-2023 the fund aims to add at least 1,200 affordable dwellings to the portfolio and takes affordability into account in its rental policy.

Case study: making an impact in Utrecht

Contributing effectively towards the creation of more affordable dwellings is about more than just fine words and targets. To demonstrate the efforts being made by the ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund in this area, we put a spotlight on one of our acquisitions.

Laurierkwartier Woningen Utrecht ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund

Laurierkwartier in Utrecht

Laurierkwartier in Utrecht consists of fifty apartments and forty-seven single-family homes. Sixty-nine of these dwellings will be rented out in the mid-price segment, with fixed rents and maximised annual indexation. These dwellings fall under ‘Actieplan Middenhuur’. With this plan the municipality of Utrecht and market parties, including a.s.r. real estate, are aiming to add substantial numbers of affordable dwellings to the local residential rental market.

The sixty-nine dwellings covered by ‘Actieplan Middenhuur’ must:

  • be rented out in line with the plan for a term of twenty years;
  • have fixed rents based on the size of the dwellings (between €854 and €1027); and,
  • have a maximised annual rent indexation following completion of CPI +1 percent.

The ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund is willing to comply with such requirements in order to make an impact and to truly contribute towards a more affordable rental residential market – while of course also taking into account the need to achieve a fair financial return.

Author(s)

Marsha Sinninghe

Marsha Sinninghe

fund manager

Marsha is fund manager for the ASR Dutch Core Residential Fund. She is the first point of contact for (potential) investors in the residential fund.

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