Dutch social housing and housing benefit
What is the difference between the private market and the social housing market for rental properties?
There are two markets for rental properties in the Netherlands: the private rental market and the social housing market.
In the private market, properties are usually rented out by private persons and commercial companies.
The rent usually excludes user’s costs, i.e. utilities, municipal levies for rubbish collection, garden maintenance and other extra costs.
Property listings in the Netherlands always mention the number of kamers (rooms), which includes the living room and the bedrooms. For example, a driekamerwoning (three-room house) is a two-bedroom house.
There are three types of rental homes: ongemeubileerd (unfurnished), gestoffeerd (partly furnished) and gemeubileerd (fully furnished).
Sociale huurwoning (social housing) is generally only available to low income families, and there are long waiting lists for properties. Due to these long waiting lists (many years), it is very difficult for expats to rent such a housing. If you do qualify for social housing, you may also qualify for a huurtoeslag (housing benefit). Find more information here.