The nitrogen crisis in the Netherlands endangers to a significant decrease in the number of new houses being built. The government wanted to build 75.000 new properties each year over the coming years, but the nitrogen crisis has thrown a spanner in the works and lessens this number by almost 40 percent.
The significant slump for construction.
The Ministry of Environment and Housing approximates that only 47.000 properties will be given the go-ahead this year and next. This is significantly minor than the 75.000 the government wanted to build. The problem? Nitrogen. But not the nitrogen which makes up more than 78 percent of the atmosphere: nitrous oxide and ammonia, harming emissions that are released by the construction industry, amongst others. But bricks don’t discharge nitrogen, so what does nitrogen have to do with construction? It’s actually got nothing to do with the houses themselves, but the construction of them which requires heavy machinery and lorries that discharge nitrogen, which then afterward falls as precipitation. The Netherlands has to stick to a nitrogen emission share and must as a result cut emission. Something is going to have to offer, whether that be farmers or the construction industry. As stated by the Minister for Environment and Housing Stientje van Veldhoven, “We are doing everything in our power to make sure [the forecast] doesn’t become an actuality”. The Ministry estimates that the housing difficulties will persist for the next few years; it’s only in 2024 that they catch a glimpse at the current goal coming into view again. The Cabinet and ruling parties have been looking into measures that can be taken to lessen nitrogen emissions and get construction reinforcements and running for weeks.