November 1, 2023 at 4:00 PM
HARDERWIJK The board of the Omnia Wonen Tenants Organization Foundation (SHOW) has indicated to the Omnia Wonen housing association that it is very shocked by the new rental prices that came into effect on July 1. A rent increase that is considerably higher than the SHOW advice, which received support from many tenants.
“We are disappointed that Omnia Wonen is insisting on a significant rent increase for a large group of tenants. In our opinion it was possible to increase the rent less. That is also desperately needed at this time. People who have now received a rent increase are already faced with more expensive groceries and higher energy costs. At the same time, they often fall outside the government’s arrangements to accommodate this,” it is stated in a letter to the members of the tenants’ organization.
It is the first time that I have experienced less rental income
MANAGEMENT OF OMNIA LIVING
Director Peter Toonen understands the SHOW’s position. “They stand up for the interests of their members. I strive to safeguard Omnia’s interests for now and the future. As Omnia we have around 9,000 tenants. It is the first time that I have experienced less rental income.” This is mainly due to a decision by the central government. “This means that two thousand of our tenants have started paying lower rent given their income. For them, the rent is limited to a maximum of 590 euros per month. In addition, 450 tenants have received an extra increase of 25 or 50 euros because of their income. The rent for the other tenants has remained virtually the same.”
The tenants’ association had requested that the increase be limited to one percent. “But we can only give advice. The housing association has the right to ignore this. We believe that the tenants’ concerns should have been given more weight. “The reactions of the tenants also supported our belief that Omnia’s rental adjustments do have a very adverse effect.”
Toonen knows the wish. “We also have advice from the government and the national Housing Association. Ultimately, we found ourselves caught between that amount and the SHOW’s wishes. The fact is that we cannot go backwards when it comes to our income. We are also confronted with higher prices for both new construction and renovation. In order to remain active in the future, we had to implement the increase. Otherwise we cannot continue to exist as a corporation and that applies to all corporations in the Netherlands.”
However, we have existed for a hundred years and would like to continue to exist in the future
The director understands that the increase will hurt. “You can no longer fill your shopping bag for fifty euros. And that is why people would rather not see their rent increased. However, we have existed for a hundred years and would like to continue to exist in the future. That means we couldn’t make any other decision.”
People who are nevertheless in financial trouble can report to Omnia Wonen. “That does not mean that their rent will be immediately reduced. But we will then see, possibly together with a municipality, whether we can do something for these people. We would rather do that than take a collective measure for all tenants.”
Tenants who do not fall below the income for which the government has set a maximum rent will face a rent increase of up to 2.25 percent. SHOW would also have liked to see the increase for people with a higher income lower than the currently chosen increase of 25 and 50 euros. “Especially because this group also had to deal with a significant rent increase last year. Peter Toonen: “We are a corporation and it is customary for the broadest shoulders to bear the heaviest burdens.”
Omnia Wonen owns homes in Harderwijk, among others, and a small number in Ermelo, Nunspeet, Elburg and Oldebroek. In addition to Amersfoort and Woudenberg, among others. The aim is to dispose of small numbers of homes in municipalities. This recently happened in the municipality of Steenwijkerland, where a number of homes were transferred to local corporations. “We would like to concentrate on, for example, the Noord-Veluwe and Amersfoort, where the core of our housing stock is present.”