“This is very good news for students who live on their own,” says policy officer Jos Bakker of Kences, the umbrella organisation of student housing providers. “Students with a basic room rental cost of up to 442 euros already receive a small housing benefit until they turn 23. But if they have a more expensive room, they don’t get anything. If these students under the age of 23 are also given a housing benefit, it could save them hundreds of euros a month.”
Hundreds of euros
The fact that students would benefit is also evident from estimates by budget knowledge institute Nibud. A tenant under age 21 would receive an average of 205 euros, and a 21-year-old would get 282 euros.
A sample calculation in the current system on belastingdienst.nl shows possible benefit amounts as well. For rent just under the limit of 678 euros, a 23-year-old tenant with a relatively low income of 5,000 euros per year would receive a housing benefit of 355 euros per month in 2022. Currently, 21-year-old tenants do not receive the benefit in this case, but they would in the new system.
This is good news for students, but not for everyone. Under the new rules, people who pay high rent would receive a much lower benefit, Nibud warns. As a result, many people – including those on social assistance – would no longer be able to pay their bills. For this reason, the Association of Netherlands Municipalities and the Woonbond tenants’ association have announced that they do not support the plans.
What Minister De Jonge will do with the criticism of the housing allowance is still unclear. It is possible that some changes will be made to the new system.