Bill goes to tenants
Loppersum still sends the bill for the sewage charges to the owners of the houses, in this case the corporations. Merger partners Delfzijl and Appingedam charge the levy to the users.
The three municipal authorities propose to do the same in Loppersum soon. As a result, the tenants have to pay for the sewage charge of twenty euros per month.
Corporations are not going to reduce rent
That is a financial setback for the tenants. Because although the housing corporations will soon no longer have to pay the sewerage tax, they will not lower the rent. This gives them a financial advantage of a total of 411,000 euros.
These are housing corporations Wierden en Borgen (676 houses) and Woongroep Marenland (363 houses).
‘Wouldn’t know what to skimp on anymore’
Tenants feel overwhelmed by the setback. ‘I would be very sorry. For those twenty euros you also have more groceries. I need that, I wouldn’t know where to cut back on more ‘, says the single Dirkje Hoekstra from Loppersum.
“I already buy large packs of meat to divide and put in the freezer,” she says. Neighbor Jan Langeland agrees. “But what else can we do about this?” He wonders aloud.
Why not a rent reduction?
The corporations say they cannot lower the rent, because the sewage charge is not passed on in the rent. The rent is determined on the basis of points for the surface area, the number of spaces, energy efficiency and the WOZ value.
‘If we were to lower the rent, we would have to do the same in Appingedam and Delfzijl. Then we will no longer be able to do a number of things, such as investing in maintenance and sustainability ‘, Woongroep Marenland says. ‘Compensation is also not allowed under the Housing Act, because we then give a subsidy that does not benefit social housing.’
The corporation also does not intend to take this into account in the annual rent increase: ‘Every year we assess the rents and adjust them if necessary. This situation has no influence on this. So whether we will adjust the rental prices next year, we do not yet know. But that has nothing to do with the sewage charge. ‘
To alleviate the pain, the municipalities and corporations want to compensate tenants once by compensating 50% of the sewerage charges, can be read in the proposal.
Various political parties argue for the corporations to structurally compensate tenants, including Lokaal Belang Eemsdelta. Council members from the three municipalities will discuss this on Wednesday in a meeting of the council consultation group. The sewerage charge is for the construction and maintenance of the sewer.
The municipalities of Delfzijl, Appingedam and Loppersum will be merged into the new municipality of Eemsdelta on 1 January.