Thousands of students are looking for accommodation but have not yet found it, according to the new National Student Housing Monitor published by Kences, the umbrella organisation of student housing associations, and the Ministry of the Interior.

The demand for student housing is expected to increase to approximately 500 thousand nationwide. By way of comparison: last April, there were 409 thousand students living in student accommodation, including international students.

On Thursday, the government launched an action plan for 60 thousand extra student houses in the next eight years. The plan includes new ideas for the construction of student houses and stimulating private landlord lettings.

More grip

The Cabinet also wants to get a better grip on the influx of international students. The universities will get more possibilities to control that, ‘without jeopardising the benefits of internationalisation’. It is not yet known what these possibilities will be.

According to the Student Housing Monitor, 15 percent of all students now come from abroad and this will increase to 19 percent in academic year ’29. This will cause a shortage of 45 thousand houses in the twenty largest study cities.

The cities have all kinds of plans for 23 thousand extra student houses, largely thanks to new construction, but a lot of houses will also disappear as a result of demolition and remediation.

Demolition

Only 45% of Rotterdam’s outgoing students end up living in accommodation structurally intended for students. The rest have to look elsewhere. That is why new housing has to be built. However, this does not always have the desired effect.

Amsterdam, for example, plans to build around 2,500 new student homes by 2030, but some of these will go to people with intermediate vocational education (MBO) and recent graduates. If you add to this the demolition and remediation, the supply of student housing in Amsterdam will shrink by 700 houses.

In Haarlem, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen and Utrecht, too, the pressure on the student housing market will increase further. But there are also cities where things are different: the room shortage in cities such as Arnhem, Ede, Eindhoven, Den Bosch and Wageningen will ease.

Studios more lucrative

One of the problems that students face is also that because of the short supply of affordable housing are more often are forced to live in expensive studios and less often in small rooms. One in four students now lives in a studio, while in 2014 this was only 14 percent. Studios are much more lucrative for landlords and investors. For a studio, a student receives a rent allowance of, on average, 333 euros a month, according to Kences director Jolan de Bie. Landlords also benefit from this because they can ask for a higher rent.

According to the point system, rooms of the student housing corporations cost 280 euros in rent per month on average. “For that money we cannot build new rooms or make existing rooms more sustainable.” De Bie wants less strict rules and advocates rent subsidy for students living in smaller rooms.

Rooms are better for well-being

Incidentally, living with roommates with whom you share facilities seems to be conducive to the well-being of students. For the first time, this was investigated in the monitor. De Bie: “Studying is a crucial phase in life and living in a room contributes to the social-emotional development of students.”

Another advantage of rooms is that they remain available to students for longer because they are less attractive to other target groups. “Studio’s that are built for students are rented out after a few years for higher prices to other target groups that have more to spend. That is a hard blow for students”, says De Bie.

Studentenhuisvesting huur tekort studentenwoningen renting studentenhuis woningnood Stock illustratie – Migle Alonderyte

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