Nine organisations, led by member of the Dutch House of Representatives Faissal Boulakjar (D66), have signed the Stop the Housing Shortage Manifesto. Among others, supporters of the manifesto include Rotterdamse Kamer van Verenigingen (RKvV), the Kences alliance for student housing, the CNV Jongeren union and various student associations. They want to ensure the theme of student housing is not labelled as ‘controversial’ following the fall of the previous government. They believe such a label would set this issue back even further.

Demands  

According to the National Action Plan for Student Housing, there is currently a shortage of over 26,500 student homes in the Netherlands. In Rotterdam, there is a shortage of 2,700 student houses. If nothing is done about this, the shortage will increase to almost 67 thousand in 2029.

That is why the signatories to the manifesto are arguing that the government should build an additional 75 thousand student homes before 2030. They also believe that vacant office buildings should be converted into student housing and that students should have priority in the allocation of 50% of the available prefab housing.

Housing for all students

“We want to demonstrate our support for students. Every student should be able to have their own place”, says Judith Noordhuis, chair of the RKvV. “We have heard heartbreaking stories about students looking for a room.” Noordhuis lives in student housing as well. “I’m a member of an association, which, in general, made searching for a room a lot easier. Still, I can imagine this might not be as simple for international students, or for Dutch students who are not from Rotterdam. For example, when I’d just started my degree programme, I had to rent a place as a subtenant, because I simply didn’t have any other choice.”

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