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Alice wants to live smaller and make room for a family, but rules prevent her from doing so

Alice wants to live smaller and make room for a family, but rules prevent her from doing so

Although housing associations want to encourage their tenants to move to a home that better suits their living situation, some tenants are missing out on the grid. Like Alice Springers (52) from Almere. It does not meet the conditions of the GoedeStede housing association.

The Sprangers have been renting a four-room house on Staatsliedenwijk in the Almere Stad for 26 years. She is now divorced and her daughter has moved on. Since the house is too big for her alone, she wants to move to a smaller house.

Moreover, climbing stairs is difficult for her due to increasingly hampering knee problems. Since her house is located on the second floor, this makes the situation even more difficult. “I actually need a step-free home.”

Live coaches

She rents her home through GoedeStede. This is one of five housing associations in Flevoland that want to encourage residents to move to a house that better suits their living situation.

GoedeStede uses a residential bus for this purpose. A housing coach advises renters who want to move to a smaller home. Springers also sat down with such a coach who told her that the municipality has a chart to help tenants in their search for a suitable home: from biggest to best.

This flow arrangement gives tenants priority if they want to move to a smaller home that suits them better. They are then eligible for a ground floor social rent home with up to two bedrooms.

You might say apples and eggs. But Springers does not meet the requirements. It's not big enough. “I am 52 years old, and this arrangement only applies to the age of 55,” she says. She therefore has to wait another three years before she gets priority for a suitable home.

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“Change terms”

On behalf of GoedeStede, spokesperson Birgit Reuter says the scheme aims to tempt older people to live smaller. “They often leave behind a large house.” For example, young families can live in the large homes that older people leave behind. The housing association hopes the flow will start this way.

Reuter finds it annoying that there are also people fishing behind the nets. But in her opinion, the housing association cannot change that. “The municipality decides the conditions. A 52-year-old woman just slipped through the cracks, but she's certainly not the only one in Almere.


Reuter believes this is a sign that the municipality may have to adjust conditions. The municipality of Almere is currently developing a new public local bylaw (APV). The municipality sets the conditions and therefore the age limit can also be modified.

Reuter hopes the Good to Better scheme will remain part of the APV, but says this is far from certain. “The municipality gives many groups urgent importance, but they do not leave an old house behind. This does not make the moving train move. In February, the housing associations will meet with the municipality to discuss the new regulation.

Meanwhile, Springers remains in her massive second-floor home. Due to her physical disability, she has now received a World Meteorological Organization (WMO) indication from the municipality. “It says I must have a step-free home.”

It can be used for step-free social housing Via woningnet Mainly in senior housing or student housing. “But for senior housing, you also have to be 55 years old. And I don’t want to sit among students, it doesn’t suit me.” In addition, she has social assistance benefits, which means she cannot respond to homes that cost more than 650 euros a month. .

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Alice concludes with one piece of advice for all agencies: “Look more at the people and what they need.”