Material immaterial: social housing in the Netherlands

Jan Veuger

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    Purpose - Housing associations make too small a contribution to society, the government has to step in too frequently because of maladministration, and the associations’ executives are often unaware of the far-reaching impact of their decisions. These are the conclusions of new academic research conducted by Jan Veuger of Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). In his dissertation, he asserts that in numerous cases there is no correlation between social and financial objectives. The Dutch House of Representatives debated the results of the report Ver van huis from the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on Housing Associations in early December 2014.

    Design/methodology/approach -After extensive exploration of the literature and PhD studies on the period from 2005-2009, the research design inspired based on the grounded theory, which has a certain bias as a result of the extensive literature study. In the line of thinking of the grounded theory, interviews with directors more or less contracted uninhibited according to a narrative method. Afterwards these interviews, independent of the researcher, thematic and labeled by a single Delphi method be submitted to an expert group which created a storyline. The results of this Delphi method have been submitted to a peer group of directors. Then these conclusions in a survey presented to 60 selected directors and the subsequent conclusions. There has thus been more than a triangulation of research than just interviews, Delphi method and survey. Hypotheses are thereby omitted because of the difficulty of fitting in within the chosen research design inspired by grounded theory.

    Findings -Why thisqualitative thesis 'Control of housing associations in consistency with social values'? To understand and to discover patterns about the how and why of the functioning of corporations in society as they do now. This qualitative study is about the search for ideas, backgrounds, motives, resistors and motives and is therefore suitable for the following question: witch contradictions are there in the social values that underlie housing associations that affect the way the are governed? The overall summary conclusions to answer the central question is: Directors, at the highest level thinking about how to deal with values ensure they drive on their own, monitor, know the consequences and take responsibility.

    Research limitations/implications - At his request Stef Blok, Minister for Housing and Kingdom Relations, has received the thesis Material Immaterial (Veuger 2014) on December 4, 2014. On December 11, 2014, the Minister decided to change its proposed policy through the establishment of an inspection model in which the financial and social objectives of the corporations are tested and assured, with the Minister as the final responsible. The parliament has unanimously agreed.

    Originality/value - My contribution to science is also showing patterns of Board behavior, whether or not in conjunction with societal and financial values of housing associations. This has not been previously investigated or established. This contribution complements include studies on culture of housing associations (Dreimuller 2008 and Sinke 2014) or only driver behavior (Heemskerk 2013) or history of housing corporations (Beekers 2012) or about the behavior of housing associations (Koolma 2009)
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational journal of engineering and science
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2017


    • social housing
    • netherlands


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