The manual

In 6 steps to adequate living!

At this moment, we are stuck in a metaphoric traffic jam. The great shortage of housing has led to congestion in the housing market, with enormous rental and purchase prices and inappropriate housing. Previously, these problems were only visible in the Randstad. Now, they are noticeable everywhere in the Netherlands. In order to take a first step in the realization of an inclusive housing market, we used an Urban Living Lab method to find solutions for the low flow of traffic in the housing market. The larger goal behind RUIMTELAB is to create an inclusive housing market with a suitable home for every resident of the Netherlands. To take a first step towards realizing this goal, we present a manual for you, policy makers of municipalities, to improve circulation in the housing market. With this manual, municipalities can get started to stimulate transition on the housing market in a targeted way. This manual consists of 6 clear steps that municipalities can follow to combat limited transition on the housing market. 


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Get to know your residents even better 

This step is about collecting information about residents. In addition to household composition and living situation, it is important to research aspects such as lifestyles and living preferences. 

Drawing up personal housing profiles 

Draw up housing profiles based on this information. The residents and associated housing characteristics can differ greatly per municipality. Which is the reason that we recommend drawing up housing profiles for each municipality. 

Shape tools together with residents 

As a municipality, make an inventory of which instruments fit the housing profiles and, together with the residents, supplement these per housing profile during co-creation sessions. 

Complement the toolbox 

Complement the instrument case with appropriate tools that have emerged from these sessions for each housing profile. 

Visualise the spatial distribution 

Determine the spatial distribution per housing profile. For example, it is possible to determine per neighbourhood which housing profiles wants to move to a different residence and which tools are needed to stimulate this. 


Pick your tools 

Choose the tools. In this final step, the right tools are chosen that fit the municipality’s policy and financial plans. 


In order to get insights in the wishes and needs of resident from your municipality, it is suggested to look beyond the standard categorization of residents by means of ‘starters’ ‘residents in transition’ and ‘seniors’. Since every municipality has their own unique characteristics and consequently their own unique residents. In the first step, specific resident information must be gathered utilizing a survey method, to get a good image of the residents. Designing the survey format, resident information has to be gathered of the following four aspects: 


  1. Household charactaristics 

  2. Lifestyles 

  3. Housing situation 

  4. Housing preferences 


1.1 Household characteristics 

In order to separate different types of residents, it is important to gather information of specific demographic characteristics such as age, household composition and the social-economic situation.  

1.2 Lifestyle 

In order to understand and assess resident behaviour, it is important to gather information about the different lifestyles of residents. There are multiple methods to gather information about lifestyles. For example, the DISC model or the Mentality Model by Motivaction. It is up to your choice which lifestyle method you use. As long as the method encompasses the following two dimensions: 

(1) The sociological: how does one resident relate towards another: an individual focus versus a group focus. 

(2) The psychological: to what extent does a resident open up towards another: introvert versus extrovert. 

1.3 Housing situation 

Questions about the current housing situation of a resident will tell you more about the: 

  • Charactaristics of a residence 

  • Satisfaction rate of a residence 

  • Charactaristics of a neighbourhood 

  • Satisfaction rate of a neighbourhood 

  • Intention to move 


1.4 Housing preferences 

Conclusively, it is important to gather information about the preferred residential locational preferences. These questions encompass questions about preferences of the ideal type of housing and living environment such as the preferred type of neighbourhood, different housing concepts, residences, forms of ownership and services offered in the neighbourhood.  

Step 1: Collect resident information. 


Step 2: Draw up personal housing profiles 

On the base of obtained data in step 1, you can draw specific housing profiles for the residents of your municipality. Using a cluster analysis, you can draw housing profiles which are based on similarities between household characteristics. Based on the data obtained in step 1, you can draw up specific housing profiles for your municipality. In studies on the flow in the housing market, target groups are often based on household composition, economic situation and housing career. This gives the impression that every target group has the same housing needs and housing preferences. However, these ideas are often one-sided and based on stereotypes. There is often a wide variety of housing requirements for each target group. Every household has its own living ideals that correspond towards their lifestyle. 


It is therefore important to draw up housing profiles in order to be able to develop an inclusive housing policy. Using these housing profiles, the standard target groups ‘starter’, ‘residents in transition’ and ‘senior’ are further subdivided in order to meet the specific housing wishes and housing needs of residents in your municipality. In addition to household composition, economic situation and housing career, the housing profiles are also based on lifestyle. Because housing situations can also differ greatly per municipality, it is important to specify the housing profiles per municipality. 

The housing profiles can be drawn up using the data obtained in step 1. The preparation of these housing profiles can be tackled both qualitatively and quantitatively. 


In the quantitative approach, the knowledge of local policymakers is supplemented with the information from the survey. Local policymakers draw up housing profiles based on their background knowledge of the residents. The housing profiles can then be validated on the data from the survey and / or co-creation sessions with residents. 


By means of a cluster analysis you can quantitatively draw housing profiles based on similarities in household characteristics, lifestyles and housing preferences. A cluster analysis is the classification or grouping of objects into clusters or classes according to their characteristics. This can be done by means of statistical programs such as SPSS or Excel. However, this quantitative cluster analysis requires the necessary knowledge about data analysis and can also be outsourced to specialists. characteristics, lifestyles, housing situation and household preferences. This way you can create a specific categorization of your residents and their complementing residential characteristics and preferences.  


Tools are available to facilitate the flow of the housing market. These instruments are presented in an instrument case based on four main categories: relocation help, refurbishment and renovation, legislation and regulations and living environment. All these instruments aim to create or make accessible a suitable home for every resident and can be divided into national and municipal instruments and instruments for the purchase and rental sector. 


National tools for transition on the housing market are applicable in every municipality and each municipality will have to supplement the instrument case with its own municipal instruments. Therefore, make an inventory as a municipality of which instruments are available at the municipality that are aimed at achieving transition on the housing market. 

In addition, the instruments apply to the various housing profiles. There could be a possibility that there is a need for a custom-made instrument for each residential profile. Consider, for example, the instrument 'From High to Low', an instrument aimed at giving the disabled elderly priority over a more accessible home. In order to give substance to these tailor-made instruments, it is recommended to organize a so-called co-creation session together with residents and local living partners. During this session, the needs of the residents can be recorded, and the interpretation of the instruments can be determined. 


Step 3. Shape tools with residents 

3.1 What is a co-creation session? 


A co-creation session can be characterised by “developing and improving policy and services on an equal level together with citizens and professionals” (De Koning & Van den Broek, 2011). This means that citizens and housing market experts co-decide in choosing the right tools for transition on the housing market and in addition co-produce certain tools. Citizens are seen as an important partner in this process, because they are experts in their own needs and wishes. 

3.2 How do you compose a co-creation session? 

Of great importance in a co-creation session is the equivalent level of developing and improving policy and services. In addition to actor collaboration, it is important that the input of policymakers, housing market experts and residents are treated equally. 

The sessions can be organised with the help of an online or offline facilitator to ensure equal input. Invite the residents per housing profile. For example, you can implement instruments that are suitable for this group to promote flow per housing profile. Finally, we recommend holding the online sessions in groups of a maximum of 10 participants to hand everyone the opportunity to participate. 

Step 4: Create toolbox per housing profiles

In this step, the toolbox is supplemented with appropriate tools for each housing profile that have emerged from the co-creation sessions in step 3. It is expected that each municipality will have different outcomes when fleshing out the specific tools for each housing profile, because the housing needs and housing requirements will vary by area. 


The replenishment of the toolbox will be done in collaboration with the local partners of the housing market. Together it will be examined which tools are feasible for further development. 


Step 5: Visualize the spatial distribution of housing profiles 

The fifth step consists of visualizing the spatial distribution of the established housing profiles (step 2), including the associated instruments (steps 3 and 4). Because the survey (step 1) also asked about the living environment of the respondents, the living profiles can be linked to a district or neighborhood within the municipality. 


A simple method to visualise the spatial distribution is, for example, by making a table and indicating in which districts or neighborhoods, which residential profiles occur. Afterwards, this can be linked to a map of the municipality. In this way it is instinctively possible to see where the residential profiles are located within the municipality. 


A slightly more advanced way to locate the neighborhood profiles is to create a map in which the different neighborhoods and profiles are merged. This can be done by means of a spatial analysis method such as a GIS. Geographic information Systems (GIS) are information systems in which (spatial) data or information about geographic objects, so-called geo-information, can be processed, analyzed and presented. By means of the analysis of the locations of the residential profiles within a specific demarcated neighbourhood, it is possible to display the spatial location with a GIS. It is also possible to analyse in a concrete way to which extent different housing profiles occur within a certain neighbourhood.  


For example, in certain neighborhoods there may be an equal distribution of all kinds of different residential profiles, while in other neighborhoods there may be a strong distinction between the residential profiles. In this way, living profiles can be made visible geographically with appropriate instruments. 


Step 6: Pick your tools

The visualization of the residential profiles shows which residential profile is most common at the location in question and where the dissatisfaction with the home and the living environment is greatest. The municipality can use the instrument case to choose the right instruments per residential profile that can be used at the location. 


Some instruments require more costs, while other instruments may be easier and cheaper to implement. This will depend on the local political and financial context. Political policy documents, such as environmental visions, will play an important role in the design of the instruments. When all steps of the manual have been completed, the municipality will have a specific instrument case regarding traffic flow for each residential profile. 


What happens next? 

As the housing shortage increases, the residents' wish to be able to live adequately will also do so. RUIMTELAB hopes that this manual can provide municipalities with a clear instrument case that can solve targeted traffic flow. The innovative character of the manual is important for this. By deviating from the standard resident structures such as "starter", "transfer person" and "senior", but rather by looking at the different lifestyles and wishes of residents, a targeted approach can be devised. Every municipality shapes policy for different types of residents, each with their own specific housing needs. As a result, the housing market transition policy, thanks to the use of the manual, will be well attuned to the wishes of the residents. 


A next step could be to form partnerships between different types of municipalities in order to solve housing market transition in the region. The problem of a shortage on the housing market does not stop at the municipal boundaries. When several municipalities within an administrative region use this manual together and draw up housing profiles, a targeted approach at regional or provincial level could be considered. This takes an important extra step towards making people live more adequately.