VVD MP Peter de Groot apologizes for his statement about social housing. “Last week I made an unfortunate statement about deprived areas and I should not have done that,” he apologized in the House of Representatives.
De Groot had said that Minister De Jonge (Public Housing) “wants to roll out the deprived neighborhoods of the future throughout the Netherlands”. “I take that back. And to the people I hurt, I say sorry.”
He made his statement in response to De Jonge’s plan to oblige municipalities to make 30 percent of the housing stock social rental homes. There were many reactions from people who thought it was going too far to classify social rental homes as deprived homes.
De Jonge called the statement “loveless”. He said he was surprised by this way of speaking from the VVD “about the great need that people themselves experience and the great need for all of us to do everything necessary to address it.”
De Groot already distanced himself from his statement on Twitter on Monday, without taking it back:
Peter the Great
My statement about ‘disadvantaged neighbourhoods’ has caused quite a stir in recent days. Unintentionally, the impression has arisen that I want to tar the entire social sector with the same brush. There are also people who feel personally touched, that is the last thing I want. 1/6
February 20, 2023
The VVD member responded today to comments from fellow MPs, who made it clear that they had been touched by it. D66’er Faissal Boulakjar noted that he grew up in a social rental home, where his parents “still enjoy living”. “I am glad that Mr. De Groot has amply taken back those words and put it right.”
SP member Sandra Beckerman added that she was also born in a social rental home. “And I think a lot of people in social housing feel they are looked down upon.”
She called it great that De Groot has apologized, but fears that the VVD still wants to do too little to restore the ‘demolition policy’ with regard to the social rental sector.
GroenLinks MP Laura Bromet shares that concern:
Laura Bromet 🍀
Empty apologies from the VVD, which just last week thought that new social rental homes create deprived neighbourhoods. Because still no support from the VVD for 30% social housing in every village and city.
February 22, 2023
- De Jonge surprised about ‘loveless’ reaction VVD to housing plans
- VVD already fiercely against new housing law De Jonge