Central government, municipal authorities, housing corporations, local organisations and residents are working together to make priority neighbourhoods more liveable, for example by renovating housing, creating parks and boosting safety and security.
38 priority neighbourhoods
In 2007, central government identified 40 priority neighbourhoods in 18 Dutch cities, of which 38 still require attention. The Kruiskamp and Hatert neighbourhoods (in Amersfoort and Nijmegen respectively) have indicated that they no longer need the extra support from central government and have therefore been removed from the list.
Norms for priority neighbourhoods
Priority neighbourhoods have been identified by central government using 18 norms, based on the views of residents and on factual information about the neighbourhood. The norms relate to such issues as income, work, educational background, the number of available homes and the degree of neighbourhood nuisance.
Ministry support for priority neighbourhoods
The Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) is providing support for priority neighbourhoods, for instance through an online platform (Wijkengids), where stakeholders can exchange views and knowledge on how to improve neighbourhoods and districts.
The Ministry also gives funding and other forms of support to local residents who are actively engaged in trying to improve their neighbourhood.
Some rural areas affected by population decline are also becoming run down. The Ministry provides support to these areas, for instance by advising on local and regional policy.
Government requirements for accommodation seekers in priority neighbourhoods
Certain neighbourhoods are in danger of becoming unliveable. To improve the quality of life in such locations, municipal authorities can impose income requirements on people seeking accommodation there. The Government has given local authorities extra powers too. They can also reject housing applications by undesirable individuals, for instance people with a criminal record.
These new measures required an amendment to the Urban Areas (Special Measures) Act, also known as the 'Rotterdam Act'. The Senate and the House of Representatives approved the amendment in April 2014.