Year 2019 Apply

Green homeowners’ association

 

Background:

With a total of nearly 230,000 homes, half of all the housing in Amsterdam is administrated by a homeowners’ association (Vereniging van Eigenaren, VvE). In privately owned apartment buildings, the owners are all automatically members of their homeowners’ association, which is responsible for maintaining the shared parts of the building. In Amsterdam, 86,130 homes are owned by owner-occupiers, 76,070 belong to housing corporations and are rented, and 65,209 buildings are privately owned and rented. The occupiers of privately-owned buildings often depend on their homeowners’ association not only to maintain the building, but also to take the measures needed to make it sustainable. Amsterdam wants homes to be sustainable, healthy, affordable, gas free and well maintained. What’s more, Amsterdammers themselves want their homes to be more sustainable, as a report by Amsterdam’s Research, Information and Statistics department shows.

Yet the homeowners’ associations are moving relatively slowly on sustainability. They often find it enough of a challenge to keep up regular maintenance. There are various reasons for this: the residents have to get together and agree on the work that needs doing, the decision-making process can be lengthy, different owners in the building may have conflicting interests, the timing for regular work on the building is fixed in a multi-year maintenance plan, some associations don’t have enough money in the bank to pay for maintenance let alone improvements, and the necessary measures and legal issues involved are complex.

All in all, making homes sustainable through homeowners’ association is a complicated business. How can the associations speed up the transition to sustainability? Amsterdam aims to be a gas-free city by 2040, and this can only happen with the cooperation of homeowners’ associations. Housing corporations already have plans, but we also want to help private homeowners to make their homes sustainable.

 

The Challenge:

Find a solution to make it easier for the members of homeowners’ associations to make their homes sustainable

 

Criteria:

  • Make it easier for homeowners’ associations to take decisions on making their buildings sustainable.
  • Your solution should take account of technical, social, legal and financial aspects.
  • At least one person in the startup needs to speak Dutch well.
  • The startup needs to be aware of the Dutch rules and regulations for homeowners’ associations, especially on deeds of division (splitsingsaktes).
  • A knowledge of the Dutch housing market is an advantage.
  • You should use local insight, expertise and resources as much as possible.
  • Make sure the innovation results in an increase in the number of homeowners’ associations that take sustainability measures.
  • Action in the short term mustn’t make it impossible to change maintenance and sustainability plans in the long term. It needs to fit within a multi-year maintenance plan.

 

Issued by: Ruimte en Duurzaamheid