Bebright overheid

From a quantitative to a qualitative (mis)match

In many parts of the Netherlands, housing issues are shifting from being quantitative to mainly qualitative. Large regional and local differences result in differences in targets for housing associations. These targets are determined by a mix of demographic, economic, physical, social and political features that influence each other and that can lead to an upward spiral in growing areas, but also to a downward spiral in shrinking areas, and therefore a qualitative and quantitative (mis)match in the housing market. It is clear that in many regions the existing housing stock in particular needs to be addressed to make it future-proof, sustainable and adaptable for lifetime use. Trends such as the ageing population, the shrinking size of households, and elderly people living independently also changes the qualitative demand for housing. Empty former care homes have to be, insofar as possible, adapted to accommodate new types of residents. However, for first time buyers it can be difficult too to find a suitable home in growing areas, because of insufficient movement on the property ladder.

In addition to the mismatch between demand and supply in the housing market, housing is not an isolated issue. The resident’s living experience is central to the ecosystem of housing, care & welfare. In this context, housing is about more than bricks and mortar. It is about the quality of living and liveability in lifetime neighbourhoods. A vital, future-oriented living environment supports a vital society.

Changing legislation concerning social housing requires transformation

Housing associations are subjected to continuous change. Recent changes in legislating concerning social housing, including the new Housing act, and decentralizations in the social domain impact on the territory and mutual relations between the parties involved. Housing associations, municipalities, care providers and residents are faced with changing tasks, roles and relationships that require a transformation. Housing associations have to return to their core task and have fewer and fewer possibilities to invest locally in liveability or social projects, which sometimes leads to a ‘grey’ area where it is unclear who is now responsible for this. Municipalities are on the one hand given more tasks, while on the other hand they are required to make a shift from ‘taking care of’ to ‘making sure that’. They are therefore encouraging citizens to become more self-reliant, which is more difficult for some people than for others. As a result of the extramuralization of care, there is growing number of people with psychological care needs who end up living in regular (social) housing and who cause trouble to their neighbours due to a lack of appropriate supervision. And once again the question is: who is actually responsible?

In order to create these kinds of transformations, organizations must – on the one hand – have clear insight into the current and future external trends & developments and – on the other hand – into the internal organization and the changing tasks and roles. Moreover, only an integral approach in which the various parties are involved leads to real, innovative solutions.

BeBright uses its extensive knowledge of trends to provide direction to the transformation

BeBright has extensive knowledge of trends & developments. In the areas of housing, the social domain, as well as in recent changes in legislature. All of these domains are changing and the parties involved will have to undergo a transformation in order to be able to engage in the new relationships and take up their new role.

Large-scale future scenarios explorations such as Social Housing 2030 and Municipalities of the Futures (about the future of the social domain, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG)) have not only resulted in valuable insights in current trends & developments, but also in thought-provoking scenarios that can be used as a starting point for a visioning process, innovations or strategic dialogues with your stakeholders.

BeBright is has extensive experience in supporting vision creation based on future scenarios, in developing visions for housing, in conducting vitality scans for your municipality or region and in building communities around housing and care.

Publication: Social Housing 2030

Together with twelve organizations that are active in the Dutch housing market, BeBright explored the future under the banner Social Housing 2030. This has resulted in nineteen trends, four thought-provoking illustrating about what housing and social care provision in the Netherlands could be like in the long term. It also led to a number of conclusions that favour the movement from Social Housing towards Social Living; a shift in focus away from the system of social housing and towards the living environment of individual residents.

The results provide a solid base for strategy development, innovation and risk management, enabling the players in the sector to translate the visions of the future to the policies for tomorrow. They won’t have to wait until the scenarios have become manifest. The scenarios that have been developed are plausible and relevant, but at the same time they will encourage us to question our current assumptions and image of the future. This will enable organizations to more quickly identify (new) risks as well as new opportunities, which allows them to more effectively anticipate and respond to changes in the sector.

The trends and scenarios in Social Housing 2030 help us to look at the market, the sector, the future and ourselves in a new light. The main goal of this isn’t to better predict the future, but to be better prepared for it.

Our experts

Philip J. Idenburg

+31(0)6 53 44 21 94

Maartje Baede