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‘How will I buy?’: housing crisis grips the Netherlands as Dutch go to polls

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N iki Struving, a 21-year-old student in Amsterdam, sits under an umbrella next to a circus tent, in bitter winds and driving rain.

She is braving icy weather to campaign for more affordable housing – a key topic in Dutch regional elections this week.For a country known for its fiscal prudence, the Netherlands is suffering a surprising housing crisis. “In a couple of years I won’t be a student any more, but where will I go?” says Struving. “Back to my parents?

I have a student debt of €30,000, so how would I buy?”Years of government policy have stimulated home ownership and left building to the market, creating a situation where many are priced out and cannot find an affordable house to buy, or to rent.

Dozens of people demonstrated last week in The Hague and presented a petition with 102,621 signatures calling for affordable housing to Hugo de Jonge, the housing minister.The average home costs €424,681, more than 10 times the modal income.

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