Social housing associations own a large part of the regulated housing market and assign these rental houses predominantly to lower income households.
The regulated market consists of rental houses with a rent below a government-determined threshold. In 2016, this threshold is €710 per month. Regulated rental homes are awarded points by the government in accordance with the quality they offer on a number of predetermined criteria, such as floor area and amenities. A number of points are also determined by the dwelling’s location. The total number of points of a regulated rental dwelling determines the maximum rent that may be asked at the start of the rental contract. Rents may be changed once a year. A rent increase is maximised by inflation plus an additional government-determined percentage. This percentage depends on the income of the tenant.
Tenants with a maximum rent of €710 may apply for a rental housing allowance provided by the central government. The exact allowance amount is determined by both the rent level and the income of the applicant.