Vacancy is a growing problem in the context of demographic pressure. Although it is sometimes caused by the normal functioning of the real estate market, speculation, economic trends, policy decisions, also various circumstances surrounding the building appear to have an important influence. Structural vacancy is not only problematic because the patrimony is not used while there is a large demand for use, vacancy also creates more vacancy. It is a social problem, a safety problem and also leads to economic damage. Nevertheless, the problem awareness of structural vacancy still has to grow.
The policy on vacancy in Flanders was investigated by order of the Interlocal Association Knowledge Center Flemish Cities. In order to formulate answers, a qualitative study was carried out consisting of a literature research and a survey of relevant respondents by means of surveys, focus groups and interviews. A semi-structured questionnaire was drawn up for each type of respondent. In this way an overview was obtained of policy practice and most efficient measures in Flanders.