“Housing associations have an important function. Both police officers and teachers have to be able to live in the city, as well as performers and artists. Housing associations ensure affordable and befitting accommodation, they are averse to segregation and don’t exclude anybody.
The money we spare is used for investments in renovation and new construction projects, and to pay off our loans. Furthermore, housing associations work hard to restore their image, they share responsibility and are transparent about their efforts. The role of housing associations is shifting: ‘from entrepreneur to steward’ and from ‘dominating independent operator’ to ‘diplomatic network player’. In the end, what matters most, also to housing associations, is quality and the passion of people in the street.
In this context, the neighbourhood workers in Rotterdam offer a great example. They make a difference in unruly neighbourhoods. The housing associations themselves have to take up the challenge to find new alliances. Being faithful to your role, but with a focus on synergy and connecting.“