As host city of the first International Social Housing Festival, the municipality of Amsterdam presents an overview of more than a century of developing residential quality in Amsterdam, followed by an exploration of contemporary issues of residential quality and scarcity in the perspective of urban development.

After the housing market crisis (2009-2014) shortages are felt in every segment. Market forces in the housing market lead to price increases in the owner occupied sector and the market segment of the rental sector. This results in selective processes in favor of small and affluent households. Households with lesser financial capacity and that are striving for greater space tend to be forced to the fringes of the city or towns and villages in the metropolitan region.

Amsterdam’s vast social housing sector is a time-honoured and historical tradition. Constructive cooperation of municipalities and housing associations is key in fighting the diminution of the sector (due to national policy goals) and guaranteeing a diverse social mix across our cities.

This event is interesting for both professionals and the wider public, who want to know more about the past and present of housing policies in Amsterdam.


Elly van Sluijs is working for the housing department of the Municipality of Amsterdam as coordinator Social Housing.

 Kees Dignum is an urban geographer working for the housing department of the Municipality of Amsterdam as coordinator of research & development.


The Amsterdam metropolitan area accommodates a population of one and a half million, half of whom live within the city boundaries. Compared with other large cities in Europe and the world, Amsterdam is unique in boasting a large stock of affordable social rented housing. Nearly fifty percent of the housing stock consists of social rented housing managed by housing associations.


Date, time: Tuesday 13 June, 20:00 to 22:00 hrs

Location: Het Schip Museum, 2nd floor, tower room. Oostzaanstraat 45, Amsterdam

Fee: none

Organizer: Elly van Sluijs and Kees Dignum (k.dignum@amsterdam.nl)