In 2020, homeowners living in the earthquake zone in the province of Groningen are set to be compensated for the depreciated value of their homes, even if their individual property has not been damaged by the ongoing quakes.
Translation by Traci White
De Volkskrant reports that the ministry of economic affairs and climate announced the new policy on Wednesday morning. Homes in the area of the province of Groningen where earthquakes regularly occur have seen their property values decline due to the slow-moving damage assessment process and the image of the region due to the quakes, which have been occurring for years as a result of natural gas extraction operations.
The new compensation model will be based on the post code where properties are located and the estimated value of the real estate (WOZ waarde). In the municipality of Loppersum, where most of the quakes have occurred, the compensation level will be 12.9 percent of the value of the real estate – in Oldambt, it will be 2.4 percent.
The compensation will be processed through the Groningen Institute for Mining Damage, a governmental organisation, rather than NAM, the Dutch natural gas company. The NAM currently has an arrangement in place to compensate home owners for the lost value of their property, but the home owners are only eligible to receive the payment once they sell their homes. The new process will not require selling the property for eligibility.
Dagblad van het Noorden reports that a percentage of the compensation is set to cover the reputational damage the image of the province has suffered due to the quakes, but the main factor will be the number of quakes which have occurred in the municipality in question. The compensation is intended to be a one-time payment.