Access to housing in Amsterdam is increasingly difficult. Buying an individual property through a mortgage is impossible for many. The social rent sector is shrinking and it is limited to low income households. The private rental market has sky high prices.
A housing cooperative offers an alternative model of access to housing based on principles of collective ownership, solidarity and sharing. The cooperative is a legal entity owning the real-estate. The individual members of the cooperative govern the cooperative together, rent dwellings and manage the real-estate at the same time. This way, the real-estate cannot be divided into individual units sold on the private market. The cooperative is non-for profit and solidarity based: all the rent is used to manage the building and to cover the costs of living and maintaining the building.
The municipality of Amsterdam is aware of the potential that housing cooperatives have for housing affordability in the city. The current city government, via the Action Plan Wooncoöperatie aims to deliver 7000 dwellings through housing cooperatives in the next 5 years. De Nieuwe Meent is the second pilot of this program. Its success can pave the way for collective home ownership in the city.
The total investment of the project is about €6M, most of it to cover construction costs, ca. €4,5M, and design and development costs, ca. €750.000.
70% of the total budget is covered by a long term loan from GLS, a German ethical cooperative bank. 3% is covered by a personal contribution that all members of the cooperative give upon access to the dwelling. 18% consists of loans and subsidies dedicated to social and/or sustainable projects offered by the city of Amsterdam, the Province of NH and the State. We already received €160.000 used to cover the project costs so far. The city of Amsterdam has also instituted a special fund of 50mln euros to support wooncoops.
The remaining 9% of our total budget of €450k will be covered through crowdfunding. Through crowdfunding we can meet our goals and also become eligible for larger funding sources. Supporters will be able to donate or buy project bonds with 5-10-15 years time span with an interest rate of 1,8%. All supporters will become an official “dNM Neighbor” of the dNM community.
Upon completion of the building, in a zero-sum game, the rents collected will cover our operating costs and loan repayments. As defined in dNM Statute, once the debts are paid back, all surplus will be used by the cooperative itself on improvements to the common good or invested in projects that share the same principles of collective home ownerships, solidarity and sharing. In this way we will enable the wooncoöperatie movement to grow strong!